In the latest photos published by the Japanese Space Agency on its Twitter profile, we can see the interior of the container, which contains a lot of coal-black dust obtained from the surface of the Ryugu asteroid by the Hayabusa-2 probe. In fact, there are several hundred milligrams of dust, which is not much, but for scientists this amount is enough to analyze and unravel many mysteries related to this object, as well as the history of the solar system's evolution and the appearance of life on our planet.
A capsule with rock samples from the asteroid landed three weeks ago at a military training ground called Woomera, located in South Australia. The material was acquired in 2018 and 2019 by the Japanese Hayabusa-2 probe. The probe's mission lasted 6 years, but all its stages were perfect. It must be emphasized here that it was the most complicated undertaking in the history of the Japanese space industry, as well as of all mankind.
The curation work for the Ryugu sample is steadily progressing. On December 21, sample catcher chambers B
The asteroid Ryugu is over 4 billion years old and poses a potential threat to our planet due to the fact that it is on a collision course with it. The study of samples will therefore allow us to develop technologies that will give us a chance to protect against cosmic rocks. Several of them will become our problem in the next 100 years.
Astronomers believe that Ryugu was once part of larger objects, namely Glade and Eulalia, celestial bodies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Both objects experienced collisions with larger objects, and some of them formed Ryugu. The Japanese believe that such objects billions of years ago could have brought to Earth and started the flowering of life as we know it. If in fact it was as they suggest, then life in the universe may be more common than we think. There is also hope that it is hiding from us even on Mars, Venus or the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
A large number of particles are confirmed to be in “sample chamber A” inside the collected capsule (~ 11: 10 JST on 12/15). This is thought to be the sample from the first touchdown on Ryugu. The photo looks brown, but our team says “black”! The sample return is a great success! pic.twitter.com/34vIx17zOX
Rock samples from the asteroid Ryugu will now be studied for many years. It is worth adding here that they are not the only ones that will land on Earth in the near future and will go to more detailed research in laboratories. A few days ago, Chinese scientists fell into the hands of samples from the Moon's surface, obtained as part of the Chang'e-5 mission. In 2023, an American capsule with samples from the Bennu asteroid will land on Earth. Interestingly, this heavenly body is also on a collision course with our planet, so we are dealing here with missions that are designed to develop technology to protect humanity.