Japanese Probe Lands On Asteroid

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Japanese Probe Lands On Asteroid

Postby toucana on February 22nd, 2019, 2:38 am 

The asteroid Ryugu

A Japanese spacecraft called Hayabusa 2 (Japanese - はやぶさ) has landed on an asteroid more than 186 million miles from earth on a mission to uncover clues about the origins of life


The Hayabusa 2 probe, named after a peregrine falcon, touched down on Ryugu - an asteroid just 900m (3,000ft) in diameter.

Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency control centre burst into applause and cheers as they received confirmation the spacecraft had touched down.

Patrick Michel, a senior researcher at CRNS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research) said: "I'm crazy about Hayabusa 2 because it's a very ambitious mission, like the Japanese like to do and it has many firsts.

"So it made the first detailed image of a potentially carbon-rich asteroid, it made the first deployment of mini rovers and a French-German lander on the surface of such a small body, and it's going to be the first sampling on an asteroid."

During the touchdown, Hayabusa 2 was programmed to extend a pipe and fire a pinball-like object into the asteroid to raise material from beneath the surface.

Three touchdowns are planned - and eventually, scientists hope the spacecraft will bring particles back to Earth for analysis.

An initial attempt to land in October was delayed because it was difficult to pick a landing spot on the asteroid's rocky surface.

Project manager Yuichi Tsuda told a news conference: "We may have caused some worry due to the delay but we carried out our plan flawlessly over the past four months to bring it to a successful landing.

Hayabusa 2 is scheduled to return to Earth by the end of 2020.

The first Hayabusa mission launched by Japan in 2003 reached the asteroid Itokawa in September 2005, and managed to take small samples that were returned to earth in June 2010
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Re: Japanese Probe Lands On Asteroid

Postby Holly on February 22nd, 2019, 5:18 pm 

Cool! Now lets mine them!

Asteroid mining could start 10-20 years from now, says industry expert
https://phys.org/news/2017-10-asteroid- ... xpert.html
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