Japan succeeds in obtaining soil samples from the Ryugu asteroid
The Japanese Space Agency explained that the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft separated a capsule and sent it to Earth carrying samples from the asteroid Bennu, which is 300 million kilometers from Earth.
The operation of the capsule was successfully separated at noon on Saturday, 220,000 km from the ground, in a difficult operation that required very precise control, and will land in a remote area in Woomera, Australia, on Sunday.
In the early hours of Sunday, the capsule, protected by a heat shield, will transform into a fire mass during its return to the Earth's atmosphere, for a short period when it reaches 120 km above the ground.
And when it reaches 10 kilometers, the parachute will open to slow the landing process and send radio signals to locate it.
Scientists say that they believe that the samples, especially those taken from below the surface of the asteroid, contain valuable data that are not affected by space radiation and other environmental factors, and they are particularly interested in analyzing organic matter in them.
The Japan Space Agency is hoping to find clues about how materials are distributed in the solar system and related to life on Earth.
The return of "Hayabusa 2" with the first samples in the world from under the surface of the asteroid, weeks after the "Oasis Rex" spacecraft of the US Aerospace and Space Administration (NASA) captured samples from the surface of the asteroid "Benno".
Meanwhile, China announced this week that its lunar lander had collected samples and sealed it inside the spacecraft to return to Earth, as nations compete in space with their missions.