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Asteroid probe Hayabusa2 from Japan is set for final TouchDown

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Asteroid probe Hayabusa2 from Japan is set for final TouchDown

This Wednesday Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe began descending for its final TouchDown on a faraway asteroid with the hope to collect samples that could shed light on the evolution of the entire solar system.

In a statement by the Japan Aerospace exploration agency:

” at 9:58 we made a g decision for the Hayabusa2  probe’s 2nd TouchDown.”

In the afternoon, JAXA said the probe had descended around 5 kilometers and was on track to TouchDown Thursday on the Ryugu asteroid which is sum 300 million kilometers from Earth.

If this goes successfully, this will be the second time that it has landed on the desolate asteroid as a part of a difficult machine that involves sending robots and Rovers.

The main aim of the mission is to collect pristine materials from under the surface of the asteroid that can provide us with an insight into what the solar system was like at its birth, some 4.6 billion years ago.

In order to collect those important materials, an impactor was fired from Hayabusa2 towards Ryugu in April. It was a risky process that made a creator on the asteroid’s surface and also stirred up materials that had not previously been exposed to the atmosphere.

Yuichi Tsuda, Hayabus2 project manager told reporters ahead of the mission:

” this is the second TouchDown but doing a TouchDown is a challenge whether it’s the first or the second.”

He also added:

” the whole team will do our best so that we will be able to complete the operation.”

The first touch town of Hayabusa2 took place in the month of February when it landed on Ryugu and fired a bullet into the surface in order to puff up just for collection before blasting back to its holding position.

The second TouchDown requires special preparations because any kind of problem can cause the probe to lose the precious materials already collected during its first landing.

According to an image taken by Hayabusa2, we can see parts of the asteroid’s surface covered with materials that are definitely different from the rest of the surface.

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