Hyabusa2 is the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s spacecraft. It recently shot a copper cannonball, measuring a tennis ball, into a near-Earth asteroid, dubbed as Asteroid Ryugu. The scientists performed such a mission to find out the space object’s structure. Even if they could have done that last year, now they’ve got more chances with the Hayabusa2 probe.
Hayabusa2 Probe Mission Was Successful
The Hayabusa2 probe used Small Carry-on Impactor, a tool equipped with plastic explosives. The target was to shot an artificial crater in the Ryugu asteroid. After blasting the SCI from the space object’s orbit, Hayabusa2 went to a safer distance from the crash site, according to the scientists. It released as well a tiny camera dubbed DCAM3 to record the crash as it happened. The camera floated for approximately a half-mile away.
Scientists found that the impact resulted in a 33-foot-wide crater on the asteroid’s ground. It sent up a bunch of material upon impact, which DCAM3 was able to shot in detail. The crater resembles a semicircle, comprising an elevated rim, an asymmetrical shape of discharged material, and a core pit, according to research. Scientists think the asymmetric shape resurfaced due to a more prominent boulder underneath the crater.
The Data Shed More Light On Planetary Formation
Based on what data they gather, scientists believe that the asteroid has an Earth-like sand material. The plume material resulted after the crash, never entirely separated from the ground due to Ryagu’s gravity. The asteroid is a spinning top-patterned and dark space object that has approximately 3,000 feet wide. The ground is full of boulders, and it’s also scorched. The material found helps scientists understand the planetary formation better than before.
“We need missions such as Hayabusa2 to visit the minor bodies that formed during the early stages of the Solar System in order to confirm, supplement or – with appropriate observations – refute the models,” explained Jorn Helbert, research co-author.