Japanese place seeker has fired "bullet" inside an asteroid as part of a mission to collect rock samples from the heavenly body.
The project will change the material from outside the Ryugu asteroid which will then float from the surface due to the weak gravity field.
These particles are was lifted by the scanner and eventually returned to the Earth, according to the Japanese JAXA space agency, which announced that the Hayabusa 2 had been totally successful on the asteroid on Friday, Japanese time.
Scientists of JAXA They expected to find a dusty surface Ryugu, but the tests showed that the asteroid was covered with dense shingle.
As a result, the team had to perform a simulation to check if the project could be suitable enough to collect material so that happened scientists call the "sample corn", an extension that stretches from the bottom of the search.
This video showsSuccess of the test on December 28, which gave the green light to clear the asteroid.
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Ryugu's face was not what we expected. So a sampling team had to carry out an experiment to check that we could continue to collect material from the asteroid surface when requested # haya2_TD excite this Friday! https://t.co/bCzvW2gwSr pic.twitter.com/XxJXETKB6N
– HAYABUSA2 @ JAXA (@ ha2e_jaxa) February 18, 2019
The team is planning three sampling events in the coming weeks.
The search engine Hayabusa 2 will leave from Ryugu in December 2019 and will return to the Earth by the end of 2020 with a valuable cargo of samples, which will be analyzed by scientists such as John Bridges, a planetary science professor at Leicester University, United Kingdom.
Bridges, who also participated in the Hayabusa's first missionHe told CNN over the phone that the Thursday event will be one to "bite her nails" because of the precision that is about landing on Ryugu. "This is an important mission," said Bridges. "Sample return trips are particularly exciting."
Bridges told CNN that Hayabusa 2's mission was interesting as Ryugu was a class C asteroid that people did not have visited from.
"One thing from it I'm pretty sure he's going to throw some unexpected results "says Bridges, who believe that the information from Ryugu samples could make us think again about the early evolution of the solar system.
Under its unfamiliar face, it is believedAsteroids contain a rich treasure of information for the formation of the solar system billions of years ago.
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Y Type C Asteroids, which is mainly carbon, is the most common asteroid variety, which contains more than 75% of those found at the moment. The two main types of other asteroids are the S and M metals, according to NASA.
That is expected Ryugu is "rich in water and organic materials", which would allow scientists to "explain the interaction between the building blocks of the Earth and the evolution of its oceans and their lives, helping the science of the solar system," said JAXA.
If Hayabusa 2 returns to Earth in time, this is the first mission to bring samples of a class C. asteroid.
Scientists of JAXA is competing with NASA about that historic achievement. A sample recovery mission from the US agency will return to the Earth in 2023.
Even reaching the asteroid it's a great achievement as it equates to an objective of 6 centimeters to 20,000 kilometers away. "In other words, reaching Ryugu is the same as a 6-centimeter target in Brazil from Japan," said JAXA.