Yabusa will remain in orbit around the asteroid until November 2019, when it will head towards Earth and during 2020 will drop the capsule containing the sample on Earth
A film captured by Japan's Yabusa-2 spacecraft shows the moment when the Ryugo asteroid, which is only one kilometer in diameter, touched down. It was on February 21 but only yesterday the Japanese space agency JAXA released the video.
The Japanese space agency also reports that the spacecraft was also able to start its engines and take off from the asteroid to bring the soil sample to Earth.
The film shows dusty debris rising as the spacecraft fires a projectile at 300 meters per second at the ground.
Hayabusa 2 first threw a small marker, like a bean bag, at "Ryugu". which was used by the spacecraft during its dive into the rough surface of the asteroid. After the target was marked, a circle with a diameter of six meters, Yabusa launched the projectile from a height of 5-4 meters and then, as mentioned, collected the fragments that flew and took off.
During the collection of the sample, the spacecraft dived to the asteroid and brought the sample beam closer to it, which can be seen on the right side of the screen and into which entered some of the fragments that were blown from the asteroid's ground by the projectile, which weighs 5 grams and is made of the metal tantalum and aimed at a rocky surface.
Yabusa 2 has been studying Ryugu since its arrival at the asteroid in June 2018, after a three and a half year journey from Earth. It has already "made contact" with the surface of the asteroid several times: in September, it released two tiny probes, OWL and Ivo, to the asteroid's ground, and then it launched a lander the size of a home coffee maker called "Mascot". Mascot's sola stopped working after about 17 hours of work on the surface, a little more than planned, the two tiny probes are still working.
Yabusa 2 has been studying Ryugu since its arrival at the asteroid in June 2018, after a three and a half year journey from Earth.
Yugo is a near-Earth asteroid, a primitive remnant from the early days of the solar system. A study of its composition can shed light on the origin of the asteroid and what happened during the formation of the Earth. Yabusa will remain in orbit around the asteroid until November 2019, when it will head towards Earth and during 2020 will drop the capsule containing the sample on Earth.
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