Artificial Crater Created On Asteroid By Japan Scientists – ZMR News Blog

Artificial Crater Created On Asteroid By Japan Scientists


The Japanese space agency on Thursday has said that they have been successful in creating the first artificial crater on asteroid. They believe that this would help in the study of the evolution of the solar system.

An explosive device was fired by Hayabusa2 on the Ryugu asteroid and materials were scooped up from the crater thus created on the surface. The project manager of the Hayabusa2 at the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), Yuichi Tsuda said that the crater formation was confirmed by the images provided by the probe located at 1,700 meters from the surface of the asteroid. Tsuda said that an artificial crater created with an impactor and then its detailed observation is the first attempt made in the world and has become a great success. An artificial crater was created on a comet by the Deep Impact probe of NASA in 2005 however it was only for observation purposes.

In Japanese, the word Ryugu means Dragon Palace and finds its reference in an ancient Japanese story to a castle found deep below the ocean. Kobe University professor, Masahiko Arakawa who was part of the project said that it was one of the best days in his life. He said that the hole was very clear than what was expected and had a diameter of about 10 meters. This was in sync with the prediction of the JAXA scientists who said that the crater diameter could be 10 meters if it was a sandy surface or 3metres if the surface was rocky. He said that though the surface was full of boulders they were successful in creating a large crater. He further said that this meant that there was something peculiar about the materials on Ryugu or maybe there was a scientific mechanism which they were not aware of.

It is said that the asteroid might contain large quantities of water and organic matter dating back to some 4.6 billion years at the time of birth of the solar system. This mission is worth about $270 million and is expected to return back to Earth in 2020 with its samples.

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