Japan marked a critical achievement which has just been reported by CNN.
The Japanese scientists have just landed an uncrewed spacecraft on the asteroid Ryugu for the second time. This mission is a part of their ongoing plan to explore the origins of our solar system, CNN reports.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) revealed the big news on their social media Wednesday morning.
“The state of the (Hayabusa 2) spacecraft is normal, and the touchdown sequence was performed as scheduled. Project Manager Tsuda has declared that the 2nd touchdown was a success!” the agency tweeted.
After the landing, the Hayabusa will collect various samples from beneath the surface of the asteroid, and these are expected to be able to shed some light on the evolution of our solar system, researchers say.
If the operation turns out to be a successful one, this would be the very first time when a space probe is able to take samples from below the surface of an asteroid.
Even the fact that they have been able to reach the asteroid is an enormous achievement let alone touching down on the surface.
This Thursday (July 11), Hayabusa2 will touchdown on asteroid Ryugu to collect a 2nd sample. You can tune in to our webcast from 09:30 JST (01:30 BST / Wed. 20:30 EDT / 17:30 PDT) here: 🎥 https://t.co/ich7d4LBXr
And press briefing from 14:00 JST: 🎥 https://t.co/2n37eUhcRt
Ryugu’s nature is intriguing to experts
You may recall that Ryugu is under 914 meters wide and it’s orbiting tens of millions of miles from Earth.
CNN reminds readers that the asteroid’s nature is what’s the most intriguing.
John Bridges, a professor of planetary science at the UK’s University of Leicester, told CNN that the Hayabusa 2 mission is interesting because of Ryugu’s C-class status.
C-class is the most common variety of known asteroids. “One thing I’m pretty sure of is that it will throw up some unexpected results,” said Bridges.
The man believes that the samples that will be hopefully collected from Ryugu could make us think again about the early evolution of the solar system.
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