After 6 years … a space capsule with rocks from the Ryugu asteroid lands

The Japanese Space Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa 2 mission tries to answer some basic questions about the origin of the solar system and where particles such as water came from..

The spacecraft was launched in 2014 from Japan’s Tanegashima space center and took four years to reach the asteroid Ryugu before taking a sample and returning to Earth in November 2019..

The return of Hayabusa 2 comes with the world’s first samples from below the asteroid’s surface, weeks after NASA’s Oasis-Rex spacecraft captured samples from the surface of the asteroid Bennu..

Meanwhile, China announced this week that its lunar module had collected underground samples and sealed them in the spacecraft to return to Earth, while developing countries compete in space with their missions.

Australian National University space rock expert Trevor Ireland said that while waiting for the Woomera to land the capsule, he expected samples from the asteroid Ryugu to be similar to the asteroid found in Australia near Murchison more than 50 years ago. state of Victoria fell..

“The Murchison meteorite has opened a window to the origins of organic matter on Earth because these rocks contain simple amino acids in addition to abundant water,” said Ireland.“.

“We will investigate whether the asteroid Ryugu was a possible source of organic matter and water on Earth when the Solar System was forming, and whether these materials are still intact on the asteroid’s surface,” he said.“.

Scientists say they believe that samples, especially samples taken below the asteroid’s surface, contain valuable data that is unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors. Scientists are especially interested in analyzing organic matter in samples.

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