JAXA Confirms Artificial Crater on Asteroid Ryugu

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, April 25 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said Thursday it has confirmed that an artificial crater was made on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu by a copper projectile shot from an impactor released by Japan's unmanned space probe Hayabusa2 in an experiment earlier this month.

Estimating that the hole has a diameter of about 10 meters, JAXA said it is the first man-made crater on an asteroid.

"We made the pit at the targeted point," JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda said. "It's a big success."

On April 5, the Hayabusa2 separated the impactor above the Ryugu equator, which fired the metal bullet at the asteroid 40 minutes later and successfully hit the surface.

The probe descended to a point some 1.7 kilometers above Ryugu on Thursday, taking images of the area hit by the projectile.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press