A CAPSULE with samples from an asteroid that can keep the secrets of life on earth has landed in Australia after a 3 BILLION mile journey that lasted six years.
Japan’s spacecraft Hayabusa2 successfully released the small capsule and dropped it on Earth after collecting samples from a distant asteroid named Ryugu.
The samples can provide clues to the creation of our solar system and life on earth.
When the capsule re-entered the atmosphere 700 km above the earth, it became short into a fireball.
Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency personnel went to southern Australia to collect the capsule this morning after making their 3.2 billion mile journey.
Jaxa’s official Akitaka Kishi said signals detected by the agency tracked the capsule down to the remote, sparsely populated area of Woomera, Australia.
After sunrise, they picked up the pan-shaped capsule, which is about 15 inches in diameter.
Hayabusa2 left the asteroid Ryugu – which is about 180 million miles away – a year ago.
The capsule, called “a treasure chest” by some commentators, sank from 136,700 km into space after it was separated from Hayabusa2 to reach our planet.
Australian National University space expert Trevor Ireland, who is in Woomera before the capsule’s arrival, said he expected the Ryugu samples to resemble the meteorite that fell in Australia near Murchison more than 50 years ago.
He said: “The Murchison meteorite opened a window on the origin of organic matter on earth because these rocks were found to contain simple amino acids as well as plenty of water.
“We will investigate whether Ryugu is a potential source of organic matter and water on Earth when the solar system was formed, and whether these are still intact on the asteroid.”
Researchers believe that the samples will contain valuable data that is not affected by space radiation and other environmental factors.
They can even tell us how materials are distributed in the solar system and are related to life on earth.
And mission managers said that only 0.1 grams of dust would be enough to carry out all the research that the researchers have planned to do.
Hayabusa2 is now on its way to a small asteroid called 1998KY26 on a journey that will take 10 years.
Asteroids, which orbit the sun but are much smaller than planets, are among the oldest objects in the solar system.
This means that they can hold clues about how the earth was formed.
Astronomer Brad Tucker said that advancing technology had made it possible for space missions to regularly land objects in space and return to Earth successfully.
Dr. Tucker said such missions allowed scientists to “get their hands dirty and teach us a lot about the solar system and our own planet.”
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He added: “Future space travel and exploration missions will need to be able to extract resources in space.
“Mission like Hayabusa2 lays the foundation for this endeavor.”