The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 is about to fire bullets at an asteroid
Part of the exploitation of the space should take place, thanks to the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2.
The news: The hit on the Ryugu asteroid, of a width of 3,000 feet, is scheduled for February 22 at 8 pm local time in Japan. Then come the bullets: Hayabusa 2 will shoot in the asteroid to create dust and particles that the device can collect with its sampling arm. Two shots will be fired initially; a larger projectile will be fired later this year to attract additional equipment.
A difficult start The landing of the craft on Ryugu was supposed to take place last October, but it was discovered that the surface of the asteroid was covered with gravel larger than expected by the team. To make sure that the collection system still works, the researchers conducted experiments on Earth. They fired a shot into the gravel with the help of spare launchers made during the manufacture of the space launcher (see image above).
Why it's important: The precursor of the spacecraft, the Hayabusa, is the only spacecraft ever to have collected material from an asteroid and returned it to Earth. This new trade will provide more detailed measurements, building on the knowledge established by the original. Hayabusa 2 will return to Earth at the end of 2020 with Ryugu samples.
Do you want to stay up to date with the news of space technology? Sign up for our newsletter, The Airlock.