Tokyo: In light of the night sky, samples collected from a distant asteroid came to Earth on Sunday after the Japanese space probe dropped off the Hayabusa-2.
Scientists expect the precious specimens to be no more than 0.1 g, which helps to shed light on the origin of life and the structure of the universe.
The specimen capsule entered the atmosphere shortly before 2:30 am Japan time (Saturday 1730 GMT), creating a shooting-star-like fireball as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere on its way to the Australian landing site.
An official describing the arrival’s live broadcast, “Six years and it’s finally back on Earth,” as officials from Japan’s space agency Jaxa show cheering and cheering pumping their fists.
A few hours later, Jackson confirmed that the samples were recovered with the help of the beacons emitted by the capsule after the separation from the Hayabusa-2 on Saturday, but the fridge-sized probe was about 220,000 kilometers (137,000 miles) away.
“We found the capsule! With the parachute! Wow!” The mission’s Twitter account has been announced.
People gathered at a public observatory near Tokyo’s suburban Jaxa office – even though the event took place a few hours after midnight – erupted in applause.
“I’m very happy because the capsule has returned home safely. The Hayabusa-2 did a good job,” the elementary school boy said.
The capsule has been recovered in the desert of South Australia, and is now in the hands of scientists who perform initial, non-invasive analysis, including checking for any gas emissions.
It is then shipped to Japan.
These samples were collected by Hayabusa-2, launched in 2014 by an asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers from Earth.
The probe was collected by surface dust and artifacts from the surface and dispersed by flying an “impactor” to the asteroid.
It is believed that matter does not change by the time the universe is formed.
Large celestial bodies, such as the Earth, have undergone radical changes, including heating and condensation, changing the composition of their upper and lower bodies.
But “when it comes to small planets or small asteroids, these objects have not dissolved, so it is believed that there are still 4.6 billion years ago,” Hayabusa-2 mission manager Makoto Yoshikawa told reporters before the capsule arrived.
Scientists are especially keen to find out if the samples contain organic matter, which could have helped seed life on Earth.
“We still do not know the origin of life on Earth and through this Hayabusa-2 operation. If we can study and understand these organic materials from Ryugu, then these organic materials could be the source of life on Earth,” Yoshikawa said.
“We have never had this kind of material before … water and organic matter are subject to research, so this is a very valuable opportunity,” said Motu Ito, a senior researcher at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
Half of the models of the Hayabusa-2 will be shared between JAXA, the US space agency NASA and other international organizations, and the rest will be kept for future study as advances in analytical technology.
Work for the Hayabusa-2 has not been completed, which will now launch an extended mission targeting two new asteroids.
It completes a series of orbits around the sun for about six years before approaching the first asteroids, named the 2001 CC21 in July 2026.
The probe is not as close as it did to Ryugu, but scientists hope to be able to photograph CC21 ಮತ್ತು and fly-by helps develop knowledge on how to protect the Earth from the impact of an asteroid.
After the Hayabusa-2, its main target, the 1998 KY-26, will move to a ball-shaped asteroid with a diameter of only 30 meters.
When the probe came to the asteroid in July 2031, it would be about 300 million kilometers from Earth.
It observes and photographs the asteroid, which is rotating rapidly, rotating in its axis every 10 minutes.
But the Hayabusa-2 is unlikely to land and collect specimens because there is not enough fuel to return them to Earth.


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