Only a few days ago the Japanese probe Hayabusa 2 impressed us with several photographs of the mysterious asteroid Ryugu. This small body was finally approached by the Japanese.
It took four years, but finally it arrived. As we mentioned, Hayabusa 2 is a ship of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency that was launched in 2014. What for? Precisely to go to this asteroid and take samples of it.
It reads simple, but no. The asteroid Ryugu, is located approximately 280 million km from Earth. It was discovered in 1999 and is part of the “Apollo asteroids”.
Despite being small, has managed to capture the attention of scientists because of the possibility that someday will reach Earth. Without going any further, the one that fell in Chelyabinsk, Russia, a few years ago, was of the same type, according to El País.
Ryugu is a metallic type C asteroid, possibly having nickel, iron, other heavy elements. It could even have traces of water. Everything remains to be seen.
What remains now is to make the experiments themselves. Hayabusa 2 will be positioned at a distance of 50 meters to fire a copper bullet, with the intention of forming a crater and taking the necessary samples. Although the mission is well on track, the most important thing remains: the return. It is expected that Hayabusa 2 will return in 2020, and we will see what surprises.
If you are interested in asteroids, we also tell you that all this week activities will be taking place within the framework of International Asteroid Day.