Japan’s ambitious second asteroid return mission, Hayabusa 2, has collected material from its destination Ryugu, with astronomers and other interested parties almost certainly shampooing on the bit to play. Although they may look like ordinary bits of charcoal, they are actual asteroid surface materials – and also slightly shiny.
The Hayabusa 2 was launched in 2014, and arrived in an asteroid named Ryugu in 2018, at which point it deployed a duet lander to test surface conditions. It touched itself in the following year, Destroying the surface with a space gun so that it collects not only surface gravel but also what may be beneath it. After a long journey the house reopened the atmosphere on 5 December and was collected in the Australian desert.
Although everything works perfectly, the team can never really be sure that they will actually receive the samples for which they were expected until they open a sample collection container in a seal room at headquarters. The content inside has been teased in some tweets, but today JAXA All public images posted With some new explanations and discoveries.
For one thing, “Sample Catcher” had sediment grains from Ryugu. Perhaps this material, exposed to different conditions than containers, will prove to be different if analyzed.
For another, an “artificial object” appears in sample container C! But don’t get excited – as the team writes on their blog, “The original is under investigation, but a possible source is scraping aluminum from the spacecraft sampler horn as the projectile fired to stir the material during touch I went.”
In other words, it is probably a bit of investigation that went off during the austerity process — shooting the asteroid and not crashing into it.
But the most important bit is all the rocks have been collected according to plan. As you can see by the scale bar, these are slightly more than pebbles, but they are sufficient to show evidence of all kinds of processes leading to their particular shape and makeup. Beneath the surface is dirt and dust on a very small scale that scientists hope can show signs of organic material and water, as we know the building blocks of life.
The mission’s success is worth celebrating, and the team has only begun to study the materials brought back from Ryugu – so we can expect more information soon as they do the painstaking work of analysis on these priceless samples We do. Hayabusa 2 Twitter Account Probably the best way to live for the day to day.