Hayabusa2 mission | UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS |
Hayabusa2 mission: Current Affairs
Relevance: Science and Technology
Context: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples will soon reach the Earth.
What is the Hayabusa2 mission?
- The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
- Under this, a spacecraft was sent on a six-year-long voyage to study the asteroid Ryugu and collect samples that it is now bringing back to the Earth.
- The spacecraft arrived at the asteroid in mid-2018 after which it deployed two rovers and a small lander onto the surface.
- In 2019, the spacecraft fired an impactor into the asteroid’s surface to create an artificial crater with a diameter of a little more than 10 metres, which allowed it to collect the samples.
- On reaching the Earth, Hayabusa2 spacecraft will drop a capsule containing the precious samples in southern Australia. It will help in understanding the origin of life on Earth and studying space objects.
- Ryugu is classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid that was discovered in 1999 and was given the name by the Minor Planet Center in 2015. It is 300 million kilometres from Earth and it took Hayabusa2 over 42 months to reach it.
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