Probe "Hayabusa-2" held a bombardment of the asteroid Ryugu, creating a crater on its surface

The spacecraft "Hayabusa-2" held a successfulthe bombardment of the asteroid Ryugu, dropping onto its surface a 15-pound explosive projectile, according to Japanese space agency JAXA. Fortunately, as a result of this operation, the probe itself was not injured. At the same time, an artificial crater of very considerable size appeared on the surface of the investigated small celestial body. The Japanese agency began to receive the first images of the operation.

In its course, the probe sent to the surface of the asteroid.Ryugu is a special "explosive"; It contained 4.5 kilograms of HMX and was arranged in such a way that the entire force of the explosion was directed down to the surface of the asteroid in order to disperse the two-kilogram metal projectile used. As close as possible to the surface, the explosive unit exploded, shooting Ryuga with a copper shell. As a result, a rather extensive round-shaped artificial crater formed on the surface. The whole process was filmed using the DCAM3 stand-alone camera, which was also reset by the Hayabusa-2 probe before the start of the operation.

Photo of a bursting block with a metal projectile detached from the Hayabusa-2 probe. Picture taken by ONC-W1 optical navigation wide-angle camera of the probe.

"The operation to reset the explosive device passedas we planned it. Now we are receiving photos through fast channels of distant space communications, which will finally confirm this fact, ”said Hitoshi Kuninak, head of JAXA.

"Telemetry confirms that" Hayabusa-2 "successfullyhe separated an explosive device from himself, dropped it onto the surface of the asteroid, and carried out a series of maneuvers in the following minutes. While we are waiting for confirmation that a new crater has appeared on Ryuga and that we will be able to sink into it in the future and take samples of matter, ”said Osamu Mori, one of the mission’s pilots.

The first photo published on the siteJAXA Space Agency, which was obtained using detached from the probe "Hayabusa-2" standalone camera DCAM3. The image shows how a large amount of dust and soil rises from the surface of Ryugu as a result of the impact of a metal shell.

Scientists believe they can find in the craterrock samples that have remained untouched by no external factors since the time of the formation of the solar system. According to current plans, a probe landing into the crater is expected in May to collect these samples. At the same time, JAXA does not exclude the possibility of another approach of the probe to the Ryugu surface to collect additional samples. However, it is noted that this operation will be possible only if experts consider it to be completely safe for the Hayabusa-2 research module.

Recall that the first "shelling" of the surfaceJapanese asteroid Ryugu spent the probe at the end of February this year. Having lowered to the point L08E1, which was later named “Tamatebako”, “Hayabusa-2” fired a 5-kilogram tantalum projectile at the surface of the asteroid, and then collected samples of the ascended soil using a special device.

The second part of the mission, during whichthe surface was dropped explosive projectile, held in the area designated S01. It is also located in the vicinity of the equator of the asteroid, but at a rather large distance from "Tamatebako".

The surface map of the asteroid Ryugu. A small orange circle in the center of the image marks the place where the surface of the asteroid was fired with a tantalum shell. A large yellow circle with a red dot in the center marked the terrain and the place of discharge of the explosive shell on April 5, 2019

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