Metal Successfully Hits Asteroid Ryugu in Hayabusa2 Mission

Science Society Technology

Sagamihara, Kanagawa Pref., April 5 (Jiji Press)--A copper plate shot from an impactor separated from Japan's unmanned space probe Hayabusa2 successfully collided with the asteroid Ryugu on Friday.

The operation was carried out as part of the world's first experiment, conducted by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, to study an asteroid and collect samples by making an artificial crater on it.

With images captured by a small camera unit released separately from Hayabusa2, JAXA confirmed that what appeared to be sand blew off from the surface of Ryugu at the scheduled time of the copper plate's collision with the asteroid.

JAXA is checking whether a crater was opened on Ryugu as planned.

"We've established a new space exploration method," JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda told a news conference in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo. "This success is nothing short of what we wanted."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press