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Japanese probe detonates 'bomb' on asteroid


Posted on Sunday, 7 April, 2019 | Comment icon 5 comments

The crater will enable the probe to collect better samples. Image Credit: J.R.C. Garry
The Japanese Hayabusa-2 spacecraft has detonated an explosive charge on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu.
Part of the Japanese Space Agency's ongoing MINERVA-II1 program, the probe launched back in 2014 and arrived in orbit around the asteroid on June 27th 2018 where it has since been collecting data while deploying its payload of four small exploratory robotic rovers.

Most recently, the spacecraft released what is known as the Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI) - an explosive device designed to blow a 10-meter-wide hole in the asteroid's surface.

To avoid being hit by the debris flying up from the explosion site, Hayabusa-2 moved itself to a sheltered position at the far side of Ryugu and left a small camera behind to monitor the blast.

Images later returned to Earth by the device captured a spray of debris following the explosion.

The spacecraft's ultimate goal will be to collect samples and return them to Earth next year.

So far, at least, everything seems to be going according to plan.


Source: BBC News | Comments (5)

Tags: Ryugu, Asteroid

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by susieice on 6 April, 2019, 4:36
I hope it doesn't knock it off it's path.
Comment icon #2 Posted by marsman on 6 April, 2019, 5:03
  I dont think it was big enough susie  
Comment icon #3 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 7 April, 2019, 19:53
There's the premise for a good sci-fi movie, or at the very least an awesome Dr Who Xmas special. An alien probe finds voyager 1 and the AI that controls the probe follows Voyagers flight path back to the inner solar system. The probe the detects hayabusa2, the AI decides that the impactor explosive is a weapon and then takes over hayabusa2, planting the explosive so that the asteroid is sent on a collision course with Earth. The AI has taken this decision to preserve peace and other galactic environmental concerns!
Comment icon #4 Posted by qxcontinuum on 8 April, 2019, 2:57
I am intrigued by learning how advanced this mission is so far and going by the design. The probe has not just landed on asteroid speeding 4 times faster than the speed of a bulet but manages to detonate a bump jumping off then lands back collecting debris, flying back home. This is the most advanced sh??? I have read about so far!
Comment icon #5 Posted by AllPossible on 8 April, 2019, 11:56
Wow I'm amazed at this type of technology. There's 4 small,rovers on an asteroid collecting data that gets returned to earth? Then they made an explosion in the asteroid. Am I Bruce Willis? What's going on here.That's just awesome. 


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