Research

Japanese space agency showed how to drop a bomb on an asteroid

April 5 Japanese spacecraft "Hayabusa-2"dropped a bomb consisting of a 2.5-kilogram copper shell and a 4.5-kilogram explosive charge onto the surface of a 500-meter asteroid Ryugu. At an altitude of about 300 meters, the projectile exploded, sending a 2.5 kilogram penetrator, accelerated to a speed of 2 kilometers per second, in the direction of the surface of a small celestial body.

Japanese spacecraftAerospace Research Agency (JAXA) is located near the asteroid and has been studying its features for almost a year now. Hayabsu-2 reached its goal and entered Ryugu orbit back in June 2018. In the course of its work, the apparatus performed various risky operations, and all in order to better understand the history of the cosmic stone, which, as scientists believe, has kept some of the secrets of our solar system since its formation.

First, the probe lowered to the surface of the asteroid.several jumpers - compact robots, who studied its surface. Then, the device became as close as possible to Ryuga, fired a tantalum bullet at it and collected particles of its soil that had risen to space. However, the most "extreme" part of the probe mission was to drop a real bomb on a space object. The device has just carried out this operation on April 5 of this year.

A few weeks later, the Japanese agency JAXAfinally shared the frames of this event. They were received by the Hayabusa-2 camera at the time of the discharge of the explosive projectile. The shooting was carried out using a TIR (Thermal Infrared Camera) onboard infrared camera. Unfortunately, the video does not show the moment of creating a crater on the surface of Ryugu, since the device immediately dropped off the object to a safe distance after the bomb dropped, so as not to be damaged by the explosion, but we can once again clearly see the surface of the asteroid from a height of about 500 meters.

After Hayabus-2 dropped the charge, heflew over to the other side of Ryugu and has been there for the last two weeks. On the day of the operation, JAXA experts confirmed that the projectile had reached the surface of Ryugu. This event was recorded with the DCAM3 autonomous camera, which “shot off” Hayabusa-2 with a projectile — it was filming the process from the side.

The spacecraft is supposed to benear Ryugu until the end of the year, and then, together with soil samples, go to Earth and at the end of 2020 dump a capsule with collected material to the surface of our planet for further research in scientific laboratories.

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