Asteroid Going to Face a Bullet Fired From A JAXA Spacecraft This Week

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 space capsule is gearing up to collect a sample from asteroid Ryugu. Well, the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is going to fire a bullet to an asteroid. This might sound to be a bit crazy and many might consider it as a movie plot for a science-fiction movie. Well, the truth is that it’s going to become a reality very soon.
Japan’s space agency JAXA ordered its Hayabusa 2 space shuttle to get a sample of an asteroid. Even though Hayabusa 2 reached the asteroid Ryugu in mid-2018 and has already landed two rovers and a Lander on the surface of the asteroid, yet after docking on the rock with its is sampler rock is regarded as a delicate operation.
JAXA postponed the landing from last fall after finding that the surface of Ryugu’s was much rockier than it was anticipated. The new time for sample collection has been assigned for 22nd February (Friday) at 8 a.m. Japan time, which is going to be Thursday, 21st February at 3 p.m. Pacific time in the US.
JAXA will televise live online from its control room with an English translation available for the event.
The space shuttle’s cylindrical sampler horn has been devised to touch the asteroid’s surface, fire a bullet into the rock and then collect the pieces ejected by the force.
The Hayabusa 2 team carried out an experiment on Earth in order to observe if the sampler is going to work with Ryugu’s grainy surface. The test required shooting a missile into a fake surface made to imitate the asteroid. According to the results, the space probe’s system should work just fine.
Still, the landing is a bold operation. The space shuttle will need to avert boulders; however, still it needs to go close enough to the surface. If everything goes fine, Hayabusa 2 would return to Earth in late 2020 while carrying small parts of asteroid with it.

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