July 29, 2021

Japan’s space agency shows off samples collected from asteroid Ryugu

Steve DentSteve Dent·Associate EditorTue, December 15, 2020, 8:40 PM GMT+5·2 min readJapan’s space agency JAXA has opened the space probe Hayabusa2’s recently-returned sample capsule and found that the mission did succeed in collecting material from the asteroid Ryugu. It also confirmed that a gas sample inside the collector “differed from the atmospheric composition of the Earth,” confirming that it also came from the squarish asteroid.Hayabusa2 spent 16 months in 2018 and 2019 following Ryugu, making two touchdowns on the surface to collect rocks and dust. It stored those in a “tamatebako” or “treasure box” sample capsule, which it dropped off to Earth before heading to other asteroids.That capsule landed in the Australian outback on December 6th, and JAXA scientists quickly moved it to a pop-up laboratory in Australia called the “Quick Look Facility,” or QLF. Scientists soon confirmed they had captured gases, but the probe required further testing to confirm they were of extraterrestrial origin. Yesterday, the team confirmed that the gas sample matched the original analysis, confirming the first-ever gases captured from deep space.The sample container inside the re-entry capsule was opened on December 14, and we confirmed black grains thought to be from Ryugu were inside. This is outside the main chambers, and likely particles attached to the sample catcher entrance. (English release available tomorrow) https://t.co/NAw1R1cjvy pic.twitter.com/5BfXxfH29h— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) December 14, 2020At the same time, JAXA showed material captured from the surface of the asteroid in the form of dark debris and small rocks. They were found in the “A” sample chamber, so JAXA believes they were collected and stored during the first of two touchdowns. The second touchdown should have kicked up samples that would be stored in chamber “C.” Earlier, the agency confirmed the presence of grains of “black sand” thought to be from Ryugu, that attached just outside the main chambers.TRENDING1.Investors Shrug Off Vietnam Manipulator Status as Biden Eyed2.Record NTT Bond Deal Spurs Japan Firms to Pay More to Borrow3.Robertson Signals Unease With RBNZ’s Requested Housing Tool4.Google secretly gave Facebook perks, data in ad deal, U.S. states allege5.Gold Bulls Take Heart From the Fed’s Resolve as Dollar Softens

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