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    Yuichi Tsuda, project engineer of the Hayabusa2 mission from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) points at an image showing the surface of the asteroid Ryugu before touchdown by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft during a press conference in Sagamihara on February 22, 2019

    Japan Succeeds in Creating First Man-Made Crater on Asteroid

    © AFP 2019 / JIJI PRESS
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    The purpose of making the crater was to lift "fresh" material from under the asteroid's surface that could shed light on the early stages of the solar system.

    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.

    READ MORE: Scientists Found Comet As Old As Solar System Inside of Asteroid in Antarctica

    "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 purpose of making the crater on Ryugu was to lift "fresh" material from under the asteroid's surface to shed light on the early stages of the solar system.

    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.

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    crater, asteroid, JAXA, Japan
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