In the Australian wilderness area, a capsule with rock samples of the Ryuku asteroid, carried by a Japanese space probe “Hayabusa2” from a long space flight, has successfully hit Earth.
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The small capsule, only 40 centimeters in diameter, apart from the probe at a height of 220,000 kilometers, entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a height of 120 kilometers and opened a parachute at a height of ten kilometers, while the probe itself , called “Falcon” in Japanese, he was redirected on a new mission to another distant asteroid he could reach in ten years.
A team of Japanese scientists has announced that the capsule has already been discovered by flying over the area by helicopter.
“We found the capsule! With the whole parachute!” tweeted by JAXA.
Extreme precision was required for the landing. In the planned landing area of the capsule, the agency used a number of satellite dishes to receive the signals it transmitted, using radar, drones and helicopters to search.
There is no intention to open the capsule in Australia, but to ship it to Japan and begin analyzing its contents in June next year.
The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014; 6 billion year old rock samples.
Scientists hope that these samples, taken beneath the surface of the asteroid, will provide insight into the evolution of the solar system. Studies so far suggest that these rocks could potentially contain water and organic matter, such as amino acids, which may have been “a source of life on Earth,” the researchers said.
The name of the asteroid in Ryuk means “Dragon Castle” and in Japanese mythology it means dragon castle at the bottom of the ocean.