Japan space probe drops explosive on asteroid to make crater

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Tonight, the Hayabusa-2 will engage in this "crater operation" (April 4 in the US and the morning of April 5 at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) headquarters), where it will shoot asteroid Ryugu with explosives to create an artificial crater, Space.com reported.

Meanwhile, the information, scientists hope to get after studying the asteroid's debris, might give them insight into not only the asteroid but also our planet and solar system.

The agency said the mission was a very risky one as it had to immediately move Hayabusa2 away so it would not get hit by flying shards from the blast but in all, the mission was a success.

The so-called "small carry-on impactor", a cone-shaped device capped with a copper bottom, will emerge from Hayabusa2 on Friday, after the probe has arrived just 500 metres above the asteroid Ryugu.

Members of The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, seen on screen, celebrate, as Hayabusa2 spacecraft safely evacuated and remained intact after the blast, in Sagamihara, near Tokyo, Friday, April 5, 2019.

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JAXA is analysing data to examine if or how the impactor made a crater. It was meant to carve out a 10 metre-wide hole in the asteroid after it was sacked toward Ryugu's surface at up to 2 kilometres per second (4,500 miles per hour).

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft has already fired a bullet at the asteroid Ryugu from close range to suck up a sample of the space rock.

The copper explosive is the size of a baseball weighing 4.4 pounds (2kg).

According to The Guardian, Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe has returned near the surface of the asteroid Ryugu where it has now "bombed" it for the benefit of science.

Japan's space agency said it successfully dropped a small bomb on an asteroid on Friday as part of its mission to better understand the history of the solar system.

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After dropping the impactor, Hayabusa-2 had 40 minutes in which to hide away on the other side of the asteroid to shield itself from any blasted off debris.

NASA's Deep Impact project succeeded in creating an artificial crater on a comet in 2005, but only for observation purposes.

Kubota said the probe's use of explosives and its "acrobatic" evasive maneuvers were "unprecedented" and he hoped the mission would give scientists a rare peek inside an asteroid. In addition to the sample-collection and SCI activities, the probe has studied the asteroid in detail and released two hopping minirovers and a 22-lb.

If successful, it would be the first time for a spacecraft to take such materials. If all goes well, Hayabusa2 will return its treasures to Earth in 2020.

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