Japanese space probe delivered extraterrestrial amino acids – they will reveal the secret of the origin of life

(ORDO NEWS) — More than 20 types of amino acids of extraterrestrial origin were found in samples that the Japanese space probe Hayabusa-2 brought to Earth from an asteroid in late 2020. This was announced today by the official representative of the Ministry of Education of Japan.

According to the Kyodo agency, amino acids from space can provide a clue to understanding the origin of life on Earth.

In December 2020, Hayabusa-2, completing a six-year mission, delivered a capsule with more than 5.4 grams of rock from the asteroid Ryugu. It is located at a distance of over 300 million kilometers from the Earth.

Hayabusa-2 left the planet in 2014 and reached Ryugu in June 2018. In 2019, the probe landed on an asteroid and collected the first ever samples of its interior. The asteroid contains inclusions of water and organic matter.

A full study of the Ryugu sample began in 2021 at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Experts from research institutes across the country, including the University of Tokyo and the University of Hiroshima, joined it.

Amino acids are the substances that make up proteins and are essential for life. It is not yet entirely clear how amino acids got to the ancient Earth. According to one of the scientific versions, they were brought by meteorites. It is confirmed by the fact that amino acids were found in a meteorite found on Earth.


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