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Japan's Hayabusa2 bombs asteroid to create crater on surface
This will help scientists the origins of our solar system.
Japan's space agency claims to have successfully dropped a bomb on an asteroid on Friday as a part of its mission to unravel the mysteries of our solar system. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said it Hayabusa2 probe detonated the copper bomb also called the Small Carry-on Inspector (SCI), on the Ryugu asteroid.
The SCI weighs around 2 kg (4.4 lbs) and is similar to the size of a baseball, reports Associated Press (AP). The bomb was released from 500 meters above the asteroid's surface, according to a tweet from JAXA. The main aim was to create a crater on the space rock. The explosion was intended to punch a 10 meter-hole into Ryugu asteroid, reports BBC.
The mission was very dangerous for Hayabusa2 as it had to instantly move to hide on the opposite side of the space rock to protect itself from the flying debris. JAXA is currently waiting for the images to be sent back to Earth. If everything goes accordingly, the space agency will send the probe back to the asteroid, AP said.
JAXA hopes to retrieve underground samples of Ryugu, which could have organic substances and water that could point to the origins of the solar system. The Hayabusa2 is expected to return to Earth by late 2020.
Markoto Yoshikawa, the mission leader, told AP: "So far, Hayabusa2 has done everything as planned, and we are delighted. But we still have more missions to achieve and it's too early for us to celebrate with 'banzai.'