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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
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Location: Lancashire
Hayabusa2 made history on Feb. 22nd, when it touched down on the asteroid Ryugu and collected surface fragments.
On April 5th, the asteroid probe will drop a 2kg impactor, the size of a baseball ball, to collect deeper samples that have not be exposed to solar radiation and cosmic rays. The probe will have to move quickly to the other side of the asteroid so as not to be struck by flying fragments.
Takanao Saeki, project engineer at Japan's space agency, Jaxa, said, "It will be very challenging."
As Hayabusa2 moves away, it will leave a camera to monitor the event.The probe will wait for a few weeks before returning to the sampling site.
Ryugu is regarded as a "rubble pile" asteroid. It consists of numerous bits of rock that have come together, but not fused. In fact, it's reckoned that some fifty-per cent of Ryugu consists of nothing.

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