This time a dirty space capsule is a good thing

Space Science

This photo provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows soil samples, seen inside a container of the re-entry capsule brought back by Hayabusa2, in Sagamihara, near Tokyo,Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Officials from Japan’s space agency said Tuesday they have found more than the anticipated amount of soil and gases inside a small capsule the country’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft brought back from a distant asteroid this month, a sample-return mission they praised as a milestone for planetary research.(JAXA via AP)

MYSTERY WIRE — The Japanese space agency JAXA said on Tuesday that they have found plenty of soil samples and gas inside a capsule that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on our planet.

“It has been more than 10 years since we started this project and six years has passed since we launched it. The asteroid soil that we dreamed of are finally in our hands,” said Yuichi Tsuda, project manager of Hayabusa

Tsuda also said that the capsule collected gas from asteroid Ryugu.

Scientists say they believe the samples, especially ones taken from under the asteroid’s surface, contain valuable data unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors.

They are particularly interested in analyzing organic materials in the samples.  

JAXA hopes to find clues to how the materials are distributed in the solar system and are related to life on Earth.

For Hayabusa2, it’s not the end of the mission it started in 2014.

After dropping the capsule, it will return to space and head to another distant small asteroid called 1998KY26 on a journey slated to take 10 years one way, for a possible research including finding ways to prevent meteorites from hitting Earth.

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