For primary matter. The Rovers landed on an asteroid

За первичной материей. Роверы сели на астероид

Asteroid Ryugu may help to explain the formation of the Solar system and the emergence of life in it

Hayabusa-2 was launched on the Ryuga devices that will collect and return to Earth particles protocolecho nebula.

The Japanese probe Hayabusa-2 made a successful landing of the lander MINERVA-ⅱ1 on the surface of near-earth asteroid Ryugu from groups of Apollo.

The purpose of the mission is to deliver to Earth the first wholly “pure” samples of primordial matter in the Solar system. Корреспондент.net tells us the details.


As pojavilas Solar system and life

How did the Solar system and how it came to life – these two questions have long interested scientists. Observations of other star systems has expanded knowledge about the development of planetary systems.

Issledovatelei also interested in chemistry – the composition of planets and their atmospheres and it depends on the place of formation of the planet and the age and composition of stars.

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In the case of the Solar system the understanding of the chemical processes can help to answer the question, how did our Earth and other planets and where her life began.

To find a substance that remained after the formation of planets difficult, especially in its original form, because too much time has passed.

However, particles protocolecho nebula can be found on “primitive” bodies – small asteroids or comets formed on the fringes of the Solar system.

The elemental composition of such bodies similar to the composition of the Sun, and the age is estimated at more than 4.5 billion years, which almost corresponds to the age of our planetary system. On-Board devices are not able to completely reveal all the secrets of the chemical composition of these objects.

To deliver one hundred percent pure samples of primordial matter in the Solar system to Earth to study them in laboratories – it is the purpose of Hayabusa-2.


Bouncing Rovers

Space probe Hayabusa-2 was launched on December 3, 2014 from the spaceport Tanegashima in Japan. 3 Dec 2015 probe made gravitational maneuver near the Earth, passing at a distance of 3100 miles away from her, and receiving additional acceleration, went to the asteroid Ryugu.

The Japanese unit reached the goal in early June and began a long process of braking and rendezvous with the asteroid. On 27 June the unit went to the stable 20-kilometer orbit around it.

There is the station conducted a mapping of the surface of the asteroid, causing scientists from the mission team were able to build two three-dimensional models of rotation of the asteroid.

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In late July the unit was close to the surface Ryugu up to six kilometers, but in early August dropped to the minimum elevation of 851 meter from the surface of Ryugu in the experiment on studying the gravitational field of the asteroid and photographing its surface at close range.

Also, a team of scientists has examined the quantity of rock to assess the reality of asteroid collision with another large object in the past.

За первичной материей. Роверы сели на астероид


September 20 began to decline Hayabusa-2, and landing MINERVA- ⅱ happened today on 21 September at a height of several meters.

Before an altitude of 500 meters the probe is fired into the surface of the penetrator SCI consisting of a copper shell with a mass of 2.5 kg and 4.5 kg of explosive charge.

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The projectile was supposed to crash into the surface of Ryugu at the speed of two kilometers per second. The impact crater is a place of future scientific work from the Orbiter and Rovers.

Next, the sample is placed in the return to Earth capsule.

За первичной материей. Роверы сели на астероид

The Rovers researchers Ryugu / JAXA

Modules Rover-1A and 1B have a hexagonal shape and the size 18 inches in diameter, height of 7 cm and a weight of about 1.1 kg each. Rover-1A is equipped with four cameras, Rover-1B – three, they are designed to create stereoscopic images of soil Ryugu.

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They are able to move along the surface of the asteroid due to the hopping mechanism and is equipped with sensors to measure soil temperature, optical sensors, an accelerometer and a gyroscope.


Ryugu similar to a sugar cube

The asteroids of the C-class are among the most ancient bodies in the Solar system and the source of the meteorites of the type of carbonaceous chondrites. They are characterized by high content of carbon-containing or hydrated minerals and may encompass intact substance protocolecho nebula.

It refers to such Ryugu. Its orbit has an elongated shape and crosses the orbits of Earth and Mars, and the diameter is estimated at about 900 metres.

For three and a half years, Hayabusa-2 has travelled the distance, amounting to a total of 3.2 billion kilometers. Asteroid Ryugu removed from the Earth for 2.8 billion kilometers.

The shape of the asteroid repeatedly “changed” as the convergence of the probe with a celestial body and increasing the quality of the pictures. At first, scientists thought that it was like “dumpling” or a ball of Dango, the Japanese national sweets, but a new series of images showed that it has a more angular shape.

As pointed out by the Japanese s scientists, it is similar in shape to a sugar cube rotating on one corner, or on very thick and “square” Yulu.

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Scientists have also learned that it makes one revolution around its axis in seven hours and thirty minutes, and found a lot of large craters on its surface whose diameter is 100-200 meters.

Photos from a 40-kilometer distance showed the strange nature of its rotation, a large number of gravitational anomalies and unusual mountain on the equator.

“Asteroid “is on the side” – its axis of rotation perpendicular to the orbit. On the one hand, it facilitates us down, but on the other hand, we found on the equator of the asteroid many large craters and mount that will complicate it. In addition, the force of gravity is not in all regions Rugu was directed straight down, said Yuichi Tsuda, one of the leaders of the mission.

Predecessor unit, the probe Hayabusa was launched into space in may 2003. It is the only spacecraft landing and taking off from the surface of cosmic bodies outside the system Earth-Moon.

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In 2005, he landed on the asteroid Itokawa, but because of problems with sampling of soil didn’t go as planned, but to deliver the samples to Earth still managed.


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