The Japanese space agency (JAXA) has confirmed that its probe Hayabusa-2 successfully created an artificial crater on the surface of a distant asteroid, Ryugu, in early April. The operation to create an artificial crater on the surface of Ryugu was conducted by JAXA on the 5th of April.
The Hayabusa-2 probe fired an explosive device near the surface of the asteroid. As a result of the explosion on the asteroid, an extensive round-shaped artificial crater was formed. It emphasised that this is the first time such a crater has been created on the surface of the asteroid.
"We can see such a big hole a lot more clearly than expected", Masahiko Arakawa, a Kobe University professor involved in the project said as quoted by the France24 news outlet.
The asteroid Ryugu is located between Earth and Mars. "Hayabusa-2" was launched in December 2014 from a spaceport on the Japanese island of Tanegashima. It is assumed that a probe weighing about 600 kg, in perhaps November or December, will leave the asteroid's orbit. It is expected to return to Earth in 2020.