A small capsule 40 centimeters in diameter landed with the aid of a parachute in the desert of South Australia.
Japanese space agency JAXA announced late Saturday that the tiny capsule launched by the Japanese spacecraft Hajabusa 2 towards Earth had landed in a remote area of South Australia as planned, and was carrying a long-awaited sample of the asteroid Ryugu.
This could explain the origin of life on Earth and contribute to understanding the origin of the solar system. This was reported by the press agency AP and AFP.
Japan’s Hajabusa 2 spacecraft successfully launched a tiny capsule on Saturday and sent it to Earth to deliver rare samples – estimated to be no more than 0.1 grams of material.
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The sample capsules entered Earth’s atmosphere on the Sunday just before 2:30 a.m. Japanese time (the Saturday before 18:30 CET) and formed a comet-like fireball.
“Six years and he is finally back on Earth,” said the official, commenting on the capsule’s immediate arrival. The footage captures colleagues from JAXA rejoicing and waving their hands excitedly.
The capsule separated from the Hajabusa 2 spacecraft on Saturday, when the refrigerator-sized spacecraft was 220,000 kilometers from Earth. Hajabusu was launched into space six years ago, in 2014.
A small capsule 40 centimeters in diameter landed with the aid of a parachute in the deserts of South Australia, where search crews would search for an area of about 100 square kilometers and retrieve from there. The light marks emitted by the capsules will aid them in their search.
Samples were taken from the asteroid Ryugu some 300 million kilometers from Earth, during two important phases of last year’s Hajabusa spacecraft mission.
The probe picked up dust from the asteroid’s surface as well as the original, intact material beneath its surface.
According to experts, the material obtained from asteroids has remained unchanged since the universe was created.
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Larger celestial bodies such as Earth have undergone radical changes and their material composition has changed on and under the surface.
But “for smaller planets or smaller asteroids, this substance hasn’t melted yet, so we believe there is still material 4.6 billion years ago,” Makoto Yoshikawa, head of the mission, told reporters before the capsules arrived.