Home / Science / Hayabusa2 lands on an asteroid and returns amazing images to prove it – TechCrunch

Hayabusa2 lands on an asteroid and returns amazing images to prove it – TechCrunch



The Japanese Hayabusa2 mission on the asteroid Ryugu is an ambitious mission. The team recently made the decision to raise the stakes with a second touchdown on the surface of the space stone. Not only has everything gone as planned, but we now have the best shots of the surface of an asteroid to be sent back to Earth.

Hayabusa2 is a very, very cool mission. The basic idea is:

  1. Fly to the nearby asteroid
  2. Land and sample the surface
  3. Blow into a crater with a space gun
  4. Landing and tasting the crater
  5. Send the resulting samples to Earth

Fabulous, no? And the intrepid spaceship has just completed step 4 earlier today, touching amazing images while realizing its science. This one was taken just as it appeared on the surface:

<img class = "aligncenter size-full wp-image-1854797" title = "hayabusa_ryugu (1)" src = "https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-1.jpg" alt = "Hayabusa Ryugu 1″ width=”700″ height=”490″ srcset=”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-1.jpg 700w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-1.jpg?resize=150,105 150w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-1.jpg?resize=300,210 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-1.jpg?resize=680,476 680w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-1.jpg?resize=50,35 50w” sizes=”(max-width: 700px) 100vw, 700px”/>The JAXA team in charge of the Hayabusa2 mission said in a recent blog post that there was no guarantee that this would happen. No matter how many things could have resulted in a second touchdown that was too risky or useless. Fortunately, they concluded that the risk was acceptable and that it would be an important feat in more ways than one.

The previous sample was taken from the undisturbed Ryugu surface, more or less as it has been for many years. Then came the space gun: a 2-kilogram copper bullet propelled by an explosion shaped at 4,400 miles at the hour. It made a crater, okay! The probe cleared on the other side of the asteroid to avoid being hit by debris.

What has been exposed is a surface that has never been sampled before by human hands or robots – the soft belly of an asteroid. This could tell us a lot, which is why the team decided to start it. It's just great and historic.

<img class = "breakout aligncenter size-full wp-image-1854796" title = "hayabusa_ryugu (2)" src = "https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-2.jpg "alt =" Hayabusa Ryugu 2″ width=”1024″ height=”562″ srcset=”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-2.jpg 1500w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-2.jpg?resize=150,82 150w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-2.jpg?resize=300,165 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-2.jpg?resize=768,421 768w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-2.jpg?resize=680,373 680w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hayabusa_ryugu-2.jpg?resize=50,27 50w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>In a brief update, the JAXA provided a handful of successful hit images: 4 seconds before, the moment of impact and 4 seconds after. It does not stay long, there are more twists than "lands". I gathered them in the gif you see above. Some other shots show the area before the craft descends.

There is not much more information than this at the moment, since a more detailed breakdown will follow, explains the website of the Hayabusa2 mission. For now, savor the face of the team after this incredible feat:

<img class = "breakout aligncenter size-full wp-image-1854800" title = "hya" src = "https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hya.jpg" alt = "hya “width =” 1024 “height =” 768 “srcset =” https: // techcrunch .com / wp-content / uploads / 2019/07 / hya.jpg 1200w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hya.jpg?resize=150,113 150w, https: // techcrunch .com / wp-content / uploads / 2019/07 / hya.jpg? resize = 300 225 300w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hya.jpg?resize=768,576 768w, https : //techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hya.jpg? resize = 680 510 1080w, https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/hya.jpg?resize= 50,38 50w “tailles =” (largeur maximale: 1024 pixels) 100vw, 1024 pixels “/>


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