spacecraft, Hayabusa2, has launched an explosive device at asteroid
Ryugu. The aim is to blast a crater in the surface of the asteroid. It seeks to
throw up “fresh” material from under the asteroid’s surface that could shed
light on the early stages of the solar system.
February, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft had successfully touched down on asteroid
Ryugu. It had then collected some surface fragments.
is a Japanese spacecraft launched in December 2014 on a six-year mission. It
seeks to study the asteroid Ryugu and to collect samples to bring to Earth for
analysis. It will bring the asteroid sample to Earth in 2020.
Ryugu is a near-Earth object and a potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo
group. A near-Earth object (NEO) is any small Solar System body whose orbit
brings it to proximity with Earth.
Hayabusa2 mission is a follow-up to Japan’s original Hayabusa mission which
took samples from asteroid Itokawa. It was the first spacecraft to take samples
from an asteroid and also the first mission to successfully land and take off
from an asteroid