Japan's Hayabusa2 probe blasts crater into Asteroid Ryugu
The Japanese space probe was successful in creating a dent on the asteroid.
JAPAN — The Hayabusa2 space probe ejected a small carry-on impactor or SCI onto the surface of Asteroid Ryugu a couple of weeks ago, according to NHK News.
The impactor would analyze the asteroid's interior. The cone-shaped device was released as the spacecraft was 500 meters above the asteroid. The device is said to have exploded 40 minutes after the launch, NHK News reports.
According to a JAXA press release, as soon as the impactor was launched, the Hayabusa2 space probe released a camera to capture images of the explosion.
The crater is expected to be around 2 meters in diameter, according to the European Space Agency.
The Hayabusa2 spacecraft had previously deployed two rovers that explored Ryugu's surface. They transmitted images and data of the asteroid back to Earth.
The probe had also touched down on the asteroid in February to collect rock samples. Hayabusa2 is expected to return to Earth in 2020 with its cargo.
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