Japanese space agency JAXA is preparing the next part of its who drags the asteroid since June 2018
, will briefly touch the surface to collect debris from the space rock. The agency will broadcast footage of Ryugu and a video of the control room during the mission of critical sampling.
thespacecraft already performed a brief touchdown on the big rock of space and then create an artificial crater on the surface of the asteroid. Then, the spacecraft will lower again to touch Ryugu a second time in order to collect some of the materials under the surface exposed by the explosion creating a crater.
Think of it as an extremely small-scale extraction of asteroids extremely complicated.
Hayabusa2's contact with Ryugu is expected around 7 pm PT Wednesday. During the Hayabusa2 approach, a live stream of images will be broadcast continuously on the mission webpage. In addition, JAXA will broadcast its mission check approximately 90 minutes before, at 5.30 pm PT, and you can return to look here via the integration below.
As asteroids such as Ryugu are sort of time capsules from the formation of the solar system, scientists hope that these samples will provide new information on the history of our corner of the cosmos. "This will be the world's first collection of samples from several locations and the first sample under the surface" of an asteroid, reads a blog post from the mission team.
Hayabusa2 is equipped with a system that pulls a small bullet on the surface of the asteroid very closely, lifting up the dust and debris that can then be collected via a sample collection chamber. horn shape.
The JAXA expressed some uncertainty as to whether the risks associated with attempting a second hit on the rough surface and dotted with Ryugu Blocks are offset by the scientific value of capturing this historic sample. There is also the problem of dust raised by the first touch that stuck to a navigation camera and left less light.
But after further analysis, the team determined that the risks associated with a second hit were lower or equal to those of the first such operation.
NASA is currently running its own asteroid tagging mission, Osiris-Rex, currently underway..
Originally released on July 9th.