A Japanese space probe has collected a soil sample from the asteroid Ryugu by firing a tantalum pellet at its surface. Photos illustrating this event have been published by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Japanese space probe Hayabusa 2 was built 5 years ago, but only landed on Ryugu at the end of February this year, and just half a month later we can see the first results of its work.
The video posted by JAXA clearly shows the probe approaching the asteroid and firing at it by using a special apparatus, and later landing on the surface of the space object to collect some soil samples.
According to JAXA officials, the probe’s work won’t stop here, and it is set to continue working until the end of this year, after which it will return to Earth.
In April, it will collect a second soil sample from the space object, but this time it will create an artificial crater in the asteroid, in order to reach formations deep inside its subsoils. This will be done by firing another pellet with greater intensity.
The collected materials will reveal a lot about the history of the formation of planets and other celestial bodies.
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