The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has said that
its Hayabusa2 spacecraft will drop an explosive on the asteroid Ryugu to make a
crater. It would do so collect underground samples for possible clues to the
origin of the solar system.
In February, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft had successfully
touched down on the boulder-rich asteroid Ryugu. It had then collected some
Hayabusa 2 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.
Asteroid 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. A
potentially hazardous object is a NEO (asteroid or a comet) with an orbit that
can make exceptionally close approaches to the Earth. It is large enough to
cause significant regional damage in the event of impact. The Apollo asteroids
are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo. 1862 Apollo is an
asteroid discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in 1930s.
The 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. It returned the samples from
asteroid to Earth in 2010.