Japan’s Ministry of Science Minister Yoshihide Sashima said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting that the JaXA probe “Hayabusa 2” will fly to Earth from the asteroid “Ryugu” on the 13th, Kyodo News reported. It is expected to return around December next year.
The Hayabusa 2 was launched in December 2014 and reached near the asteroid in June 2018, landing twice to collect rock samples.
A metal bomb was shot in April 2019 to create the world’s first man-made crater on the asteroid’s surface. “Looking forward to a safe return, “new knowledge is gained (from the samples),” Mr. Yoshida said. “
When Hayabusa 2 returned to Earth, it was reported that, unlike the aircraft that had burned up in the atmosphere, it planned to continue its exploration in space after dropping a capsule containing samples.
The delivered rock samples will be materials for the study of the origins of the solar system, which were born 4.6 billion years ago, and it is expected that organic matter that could make up living things will be found in the samples.