The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa-2 just opened a new picture of Ryugu and revealed dark traces of landing on the uneven surface of the asteroid.
On Friday Hayabusa-2 successfully touched the surface of Ryugu, "shot a bullet" into the land of the asteroid, and collected some dust samples to return to Earth. the spacecraft ONC_W1 on the spacecraft could have been caused by residues swung upward by the Hayabusa-2 pushers or a horned appendix that pierced the asteroid, the BBC reported.
This is an image shot right after that # haya2_TD! It is made with the wide-angle ONC-W1 camera and shows the shadow of Hayabusa2 and a surface area that appears to have been decolorized by the touchdown. https://t.co/PEE6wfjDHE pic.twitter.com/UQoTNIQgIh
– HAYABUSA2 @ JAXA (@ haya2e_jaxa) February 25, 2019
On Friday, Hayabusa-2 approached Ryugu with the appendage, stabbing a five-foot metal tantalum "bullet" in the asteroid, and gathered particles of rapid impact. Japan's Aerospace Research Agency (JAXA), which oversees Hayabusa-2's mission, hopes the horn will capture between 10 and 100 milligrams of dust that will return to Earth in two years. With these models, scientists can learn more about Ryugu and how the solar system looks in its early days.
Although JAXA is not sure about the number of samples collected, Hayabusa-2's photo confirms that the landing operation went well. Before the big day, Hayabusa-2 released Ryugu's "target marker". This little marker was used to direct the spacecraft to the right sampling point. Unlike earlier photos of the landing zone, this photo showed some discoloration, indicating that the Hayabusa-2 was close to its intended purpose.
Hayabusa-2, who will spend more time near Ryugu later this year, is expected to return to Earth with dust samples at the end of 2020.
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