Breaking News: Japanese Spacecraft Collects Samples From Inside An Asteroid

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Japan managed to achieve something extraordinary. Japanese scientists have just landed an uncrewed spacecraft on the asteroid Ryugu for the second time.

This mission has been a part of their huge plan to explore the origins of the solar system, according to the latest reports coming from CNN and other publications.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) revealed the big news on Twitter:

“The state of the (Hayabusa 2) spacecraft is normal, and the touchdown sequence was performed as scheduled. Project Manager Tsuda has declared that the 2nd touchdown was a success!” the agency tweeted.

Collecting samples from the inside of an asteroid for the first time ever 

After completing the touchdown, the spacecraft captured material from the space rock’s interior that has been exposed by firing a projectile into the asteroid earlier this year.

This is huge because it’s the very first time something from an inside of an asteroid has been collected.

The mission is a complete success 

Sciencemag reported that all technicians and engineers in the spacecraft’s control room near Tokyo could be seen and heard cheering and applauding on a YouTube live stream when the Project Manager Yuichi Tsuda proclaimed the operation a success just before 11 a.m. local time.

At an afternoon press briefing, Tsuda said, “Everything went perfectly.” He joked that if a score of 100 indicated perfection, “I would give this a score of 1000.”

On Twitter there are also the following messages:

“[PPTD] July 11 at 17:24 JST: we have confirmed that the spacecraft performed the planned ΔV to return to the home position. Hayabusa2 will reach the home position around 10:30 JST tomorrow (7/12).”

Regarding the images, “These images were taken immediately after today’s touchdown (Jul 11) with the ONC-W1. First photo was taken at 10:06:32 JST (on-board time) and you can see the gravel flying upwards. Second shot was at 10:08:53 where the darker region near the centre is due to touchdown.”


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