The model capsule of the Japanese space probe “Hayapusa 2” landed safely on Earth after a distance of more than five billion kilometers.
The Japanese space agency Jaxa announced that the capsule had landed as planned in a desert near Womera in the southern Australian state. The process went well and the scientific evaluation of the samples will now begin, Jaxa announced on Twitter.
“Hayabusa 2” launched a capsule containing samples from the asteroid Ryu. When it entered the Earth’s atmosphere, the capsule looked like a star falling in the sky. “It’s been six years and he’s finally back to Earth,” said a spokesman for the event’s Jaxa live broadcast. Jaxa staff cheered and raised their fists.
“Hayabusa 2” collected only 0.1 gram samples on the asteroid Ryu. Nevertheless, researchers involved in the work believe that this material will provide important information.
Information about the origin of the expected solar system
The capsule contains material 4.6 billion years old from the early days of the solar system. Researchers hope to trace the origin of the solar system and life on Earth by analyzing Ryu models. Mission Manager Makoto Yoshikawa said the samples may contain organic matter. It may be “the source of life on earth.” The capsule is to be opened only in Japan and must be brought in by air from Australia.
DLR was also involved in this work
This maneuver marks the end of the mission that began in December 2014 with the introduction of “Hayapusa 2” from Japan. The German Space Center (DLR) participated in the mission with the “Mascot” lander, developed in collaboration with the French space agency CNES. It landed in Riku in October 2018 and explored it – until its battery ran out.
This news was broadcast on December 7, 2020 on Deutschlandfunk.