The Japanese space probe has succeeded in creating an artificial asteroid gap in a first-ever attempt to study the formation of the solar system, the Japanese space agency (JAXA) reported today.
The probe "Hiabusa_2" in the vicinity of "Ryugo" threw a rocket that exploded near the cosmic body and fragments of it fell to the surface of the asteroid.
"The creation of an artificial gap in this way and the subsequent examination of its details is the first such experience," said one of the supervisors at a press conference.
"There can be a bigger gap than expected," said Masahiko Arakawa, a professor at Kobe University, who was involved in the project, adding that the images showed a 10-meter nozzle.
Scientists believe that the asteroid contains large amounts of organic matter and water, dating back to about 4.6 billion years during the formation of the solar system.
Hayabusa 2 landed briefly in February on the surface of the asteroid, allowing him to collect dust from this cosmic body.
The Hayabusa 2 adventure began on December 3, 2014, with a long road of 3.2 billion kilometers to reach Ryugu, 340 million kilometers from Earth, which can not be reached in a straight line.
It took three years and ten months to reach their destination. In June 2018, it is located 20 kilometers from Ruego, an ancient asteroid in the form of a diamond dating back to the history of the Solar System.
The vehicle was launched in October on the surface of the small French-German asteroid "Maskot", which has been working for more than 17 hours to analyze the soil composition of this primitive rock meteorite, hoping for a better understanding of the formation of the solar system.
The aim of the mission is to enrich the knowledge of space to "better understand the emergence of life on earth," according to the Japanese Space Agency. The Japanese car is expected to return to Earth in 2020.
This is not the first attempt of the Japanese agency in this area. Hayabusa had already been sent to the asteroid Itokawa, which allowed the collection of dust samples from this small object.