Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 space probe has successfully “bombed” asteroid Ryugu, which is speeding 186 million miles from Earth, in an attempt to retrieve material that could offer scientists new clues about the origins of life on our planet. It released the device – called a small carry-on impact – on Friday as it hovered 500 meters above the asteroid. This cone-shaped impactor was fitted with a copper explosive the size of a baseball and programmed to detonate 40 minutes after it was released, gouging a crater into the asteroid’s surface. Read more for a video and additional information.
“As Hayabusa 2 made a swift exit to avoid a collision with the asteroid or sustain damage from the blast, it released a camera above the site that should be able to capture images of the event. It is not clear when the camera will be able to transmit the images and allow Jaxa to determine if the mission was successful,” reports MSN.