JAKARTA- Japan's Space Exploration Agency, JAXA, confirmed that the Hayabusa spacecraft2 successfully bombarded the asteroid earlier this month.
Reporting from the page New Atlas, Tuesday (04/29/2019) was confirmed by JAXA after comparing photos before and after the impact site images taken from the asteroid Ryugu by telescopic aircraft navigation cameras (ONC-T).
The space agency has determined that the SCI (Small Carry-on Impactor) device detonated the impact and created an artificial crater. On April 5, 2019, Hayabusa2 deployed SCI, which was a collector equipped with plastic explosives formed in cones and covered with 2 kg (4.4 lb) copper.
The principle behind this is the piercing rocket grenade. When the SCI was fired at the surface, the charge exploded and the copper turned into a liquid slug that explodes by opening a crater in the asteroid, showing buried material that had been shielded from sunlight and damaged the radiation for billions of years.
The problem is that it is not safe for Hayabusa to be around because the danger of debris explodes from Ryugu. Thus, for safety reasons, the vehicle retreats to the asteroid and is not visible. However, a camera that can be used, DCAM3, records gravel clusters near the impact zone.
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As DCAM3 does not have the resolution needed to find the actual crater formed by SCI, JAXA ordered Hayabusa2 to perform a series of orbital maneuvers and descend for a period of two days to an altitude of about 1.7 km (1, 1 miles). When comparing the images of the overfly with the taken on March 22, the control of the mission can confirm the existence of a new crater.
The aim of the asteroid bombing was to reveal deep areas from which the original Ryugu samples could be collected by Hayabusa and returned to Earth. This will not only serve pure science, but will allow scientists to gain new insights into the structure and composition of asteroids, which will one day be useful for finding the science of moldy asteroids that must be turned or destroyed when they collide with Earth.
"The exact size and shape of the artificial crater will be examined in detail in the future, but we can see that an area of about 20 m (66 feet) has changed," JAXA said via Twitter.