JAXA: Hayabusa2 likely succeeded in making crater
NHK -- Apr 06
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency says it's highly likely that probe Hayabusa2 has succeeded in the world's first mission of creating a crater on an asteroid to study its interior.

The probe released a device called an "impactor" above the asteroid Ryugu shortly before 11 a.m. on Friday, Japan Time.

The impactor is believed to have exploded 40 minutes later, and shot a metal object into Ryugu's surface at a speed of two kilometers per second to make a crater.

JAXA officials said images taken by a small camera separated from Hayabusa2 showed pieces of rocks scattering right after the scheduled explosion time.

They added that rock particles were spreading like a curtain, which is formed when a crater is made. Officials concluded that the object shot from the impactor successfully hit Ryugu.

A member of the Hayabusa2 project team says it's highly likely that a crater has been created.

JAXA says it plans to send the probe above the crater to observe its interior in late April at the earliest, once there is no risk of scattered surface rock pieces hitting the spacecraft.

探査機『はやぶさ2』が5日、世界初、小惑星の表面に金属弾を撃ち込む実験に成功した。爆薬を使って金属弾を小惑星『リュウグウ』にぶつけて、人工的なクレーターを作るため、はやぶさ2も爆発に巻き込まれる危険があった。爆発予定時刻を過ぎても、はやぶさ2に損傷がないことが確認された。

News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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