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On Friday a Japanese Space probe sent to examine Ryugu asteroid 300 million kilometers from the Earth. “We confirmed the touchdown,” JAXA spokeswoman Chisato Ikuta told AFP.
The spacecraft’s landing on the asteroid Ryugu, just 900 meters (3,000 feet) in diameter, came after an first attempt in October was delayed because it was difficult to pick a landing spot on the asteroid’s rocky surface.
The name of the probe is Hayabusa 2. According to data provided by scientists the probe has touched down on an asteroid more than 300 million km (186 million miles) from Earth on a mission to look for clues about the origins of life.
“Data from the probe, Hayabusa2, showed changes in speed and direction, indicating it had touched down on the asteroid and was blasting back to its orbiting position, according to officials from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)”, informed japantoday.com.
One of the interesting facts is that theasteroid contains relatively large amounts of organic matter and water from some 4.6 billion years ago when the solar system was born.
Scientists hope those samples may give some answers to questions about life and the Universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.
“We may have caused some worry due to the delay but we carried out our plan flawlessly over the past four months to bring it to a successful landing,” indicates project manager Yuichi Tsuda. “It landed in the best circumstances among the scenarios we envisioned,” he said.
After the landing, the probe was to come back to its orbit above asteroid Ryugu, with further touchdowns planned for later in the year.
Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA wrote on their Twitter post
“Everyone, we did it!!! #haya2_TD -Thank you so much for your support from all over the world!”.
Source: Text; www.indiatoday.in, japantoday.com
Image credit; japantoday.com
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