Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Creates a Crater

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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has stated that its spacecraft Hayabusa2 recently dropped a copper ball-sized explosive on an asteroid, thus making it possible to form a crater. The formation of the crater will enable underground sample collections for possible clues about the origin of the solar system. The mission to send Hayabusa2 so close to the asteroid was risky as the spacecraft had to move away immediately after dropping the explosive, to ensure it wouldn’t get hit by the flying shards from the blast. Hayabusa2 will soon be sent back to the site to collect sample material from the newly formed crater. In a previous mission, scientists had detected hydroxyl-bearing minerals on the asteroid, which in turn could provide answers to the question about the source of Earth’s water. The spacecraft will leave the asteroid at the end of 2019 and bring back underground samples in late 2020.

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