A capsule with rock samples from the Rye asteroid has reached Earth


A small capsule just 40 centimeters in diameter, detached from the probe at an altitude of 220,000 kilometers, entered the Earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of 120 kilometers and opened the parachute at an altitude of ten kilometers, while the probe itself, called “Falcon” in Japanese, was then diverted under a new missions to another distant asteroid.

The operation of lowering the capsule required extreme precision. JAXA has placed several satellite dishes in the expected landing area to receive the signals it transmits, and will use radar, drones and helicopters to search.

The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014, in 2018 the probe entered the orbit of the Ryugu asteroid, a container with all-terrain vehicles and various robotic devices landed on it, but later the asteroid crater smashed with a special charge to obtain intact rock samples. Scientists hope that these samples taken below the asteroid’s surface will provide insight into the evolution of the solar system.

The asteroid is called Ryukū, which in an ancient Japanese fairy tale is located at the bottom of the ocean of a dragon castle.

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