Early in the morning, the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 blew up an explosive device over a small asteroid. The goal was to create a fresh crater that would later be studied by a spacecraft.
The researchers observed from the mission management in Sagamihari, Japan, and politely laughed when Khayabusa2 released an experiment, known as the Small Hand-held Drummer. The device consisted of a copper disk packed with high-temperature HMX. As soon as the parent ship safely came out of the fire line, the drummer probably broke up, releasing the disc in the direction of the asteroid. The camera, released by Hayabusa2 appeared to be similar to the moment of impact which sent the ejection flux into space.
"He passed flawlessly," says Gerold Connolly Jr., a geologist at Rowne University. in New Jersey and co-investigator Hayabusa2.
[SCI] Expanded camera DCAM3 successfully photographed an ejector when SCI collided with the Ryugu surface. This is the first ever cosmic collision experiment with an asteroid! In the future, we will consider the crater formed and as a dispersed thrower. pic.twitter.com/eLm6ztM4VX
– HAYABUSA2 @ JAXA (@ haya2e_jaxa) April 5, 2019
and orbits between Earth and Mars. Researchers believe that Ryu can be similar to the early cosmic rocks that have been combined to make planets, including the Earth.
"These special asteroids are the precursors of what the Earth was made of," says Connolly. Ryugu is rich in carbon, and minerals on its surface contain water and so-called prebiotic compounds that could begin life on this planet.
"Ryugu is a time capsule," Connolly says. used to fire towards the asteroid. This video shows tests here on the ground.
JAXA / Jason Davis / Planetary Society