World News – AU – Japan’s Hayabusa-2 spacecraft brings asteroid dust to Earth

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Japan space probe
Photo:(
AFP
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The space probe, launched in December 2014, has already excited scientists by landing on an asteroid and collecting material from an asteroid that is about 300 million kilometers from Earth.

Japan’s Hayabusa-2 spacecraft is on its way home, but only to hand in its rare asteroid samples before a new mission begins.

The space probe, launched in December 2014, has already excited scientists by landing on an asteroid and collecting material from an asteroid that is about 300 million kilometers from Earth.

Scientists from the Japanese space agency JAXA have now planned to extend their mission by more than a decade and have targeted two new asteroids.

Before this mission can begin, Hayabusa-2 must hand in its precious samples from the asteroid Ryugu – « Dragon Palace » in Japanese.

Scientists hope the capsule contains around zero. 1 gram of material that provides clues as to what the solar system was like when it was born 4. 6 billion years ago.

The material is in a capsule that separates from Hayabusa-2 while it is about 220. 000 kilometers above the earth and then crashes into the South Australian desert.

Protected from sunlight and radiation in the capsule, the samples are collected, processed and then flown to Japan.

Half of the material will be shared between JAXA, the US space agency NASA and other international organizations, and the rest will be kept for future study as advances in analytical technology are made.

After Hayabusa-2 submits its samples, it will complete a series of orbits around the Sun for about six years – recording data on dust in interplanetary space and observing exoplanets.

The probe doesn’t get that close to the asteroid named 2001 CC21, but scientists hope it can photograph it if it does a « high-speed flyby ». .

Hayabusa-2 will then be heading for its primary target, 1998 KY26, a spherical asteroid only 30 meters in diameter. When the probe arrives at the asteroid in July 2031, it will be approximately 300 million kilometers from Earth

Hayabusa-2 will be observing and photographing the asteroid, but it is unlikely to land and collect samples as it likely does not have enough fuel to bring them back to Earth.

The probe is the successor to JAXA’s first asteroid researcher « Hayabusa », which means falcon in Japanese.

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World news – AU – Japan’s Hayabusa-2 spacecraft brings asteroid dust to Earth
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Ref: https://www.wionews.com

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