(ORDO NEWS) — The capsule with soil collected by the Hayabusa 2 space probe on the Ryugu asteroid was found after a safe landing in the desert in southern Australia, according to the probe’s Twitter page.
“We found the capsule! Together with the parachute! Wow!” – the message says.
The capsule was found at the planned landing site as a result of a helicopter search.
The capsule delivered to Earth samples of soil collected from the surface of the asteroid Ryugu. One of the most challenging tasks for scientists was the accuracy of the angle at which the capsule will collide with the Earth. Another difficult stage could be the parachuting of the capsule at an altitude of 11 to 7 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.
The capsule will be placed in a so-called “clean room” in order to analyze the gases in the capsule and exclude the entry of gases of terrestrial origin.
On Saturday, the capsule was successfully separated from the Hayabusa-2 probe at an altitude of 223 thousand kilometers from the Earth and began its descent to the planet’s surface. The probe itself, at a distance of 210 thousand kilometers from the Earth, changed its trajectory and headed for its next mission – to observe the asteroid 1998KY26. An asteroid with a diameter of 30 meters orbits between the orbits of the Earth and Mars and is similar in composition to Ryuga. Unlike the mission to Ryugu, the landing of vehicles on its surface is not planned. Hayabusa-2 will only monitor its surface.
The Hayabusa-2 space probe has successfully landed on the surface of the asteroid twice to collect soil and dust samples. Using an explosive device, the probe managed to “shoot” a projectile into the surface of the asteroid Ryugu and create the world’s first artificial crater on the surface of the asteroid. This made it possible to take dust and soil lying deeper than the surface of a space body. Scientists believe that it is the samples of the rock obtained from the bowels of the asteroid, which to a greater extent preserve the properties of matter from the times of the emergence of the solar system, will allow mankind to come closer to unraveling the formation of the solar system and the emergence of life. Scientists also found out that Ryugu contains water-containing minerals with elements of oxygen and hydrogen, which was an event in the history of human space exploration.
The Hayabusa 2 space probe was launched to the asteroid Ryugu in 2014. Ryugu is 340 million kilometers from Earth. Its diameter is about 900 meters. Scientists believe that the elements found in Ryugu’s soil will help solve the mystery of the origin of water and organic elements on Earth.
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