Hayabusa-2 probe dropped soil samples from an asteroid to Earth

The Hayabusa-2 interplanetary station dropped a capsule with the soil of the asteroid Ryugu onto the Earth. It will land in Australia, taking about 12 hours to reach Earth.

The Japanese research probe Hayabusa-2 studied the asteroid Ryugu, collected samples from it, and, having traveled more than 220 thousand km from Earth, dropped a special capsule with scientific materials from the surface of a celestial body. Now the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is preparing to collect samples taken from a near-Earth asteroid.

The spacecraft sample capsule should land near Woomera, Australia, early Sunday morning local time. The researchers note that beautiful flashes of light will accompany the landing of the capsule.

The entire journey to Earth will take about 12 hours. The speed of approach to the earth’s surface will be 12 km/s. Due to the high frictional force, the object while in the atmosphere will look like a bright fireball and can be observed for 90 seconds.

JAXA scientists and engineers will only start studying Japan’s materials, so researchers don’t yet know what exactly is stored inside the capsule. However, they speculate that there may be data there that will provide more information about the early solar system and explain how water entered the planet during its formative years.

JAXA will be streaming the capsule landing live. It will start on December 5. The broadcast is expected to last about 70-90 minutes. However, the researchers do not yet know if they will capture the moment the capsule approaches Earth.

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