In Australia, a search team from the Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA) found and delivered to a local headquarters a capsule containing soil samples collected from the asteroid Ryugu. The soil was collected by the Japanese interplanetary probe Hayabusa-2, and the capsule was dropped on Earth on December 5.
“Today, December 6, at 8.33 Japanese time, a helicopter with a capsule arrived at the local headquarters and the capsule was delivered inside the building,” the JAXA said in a statement. Twitter.
The asteroid Ryugu is located 340 million km from Earth. Hayabusa-2 was in the asteroid zone from June 2018 to November 2019 and landed there twice successfully. On one of the landings, he detonated to create an artificial crater and extract soil from the deeper layers of the asteroid. According to scientists, in theory, organic compounds may be present in the soil of an asteroid, which may indicate the possibility of primitive life on it.
For more information on possible discoveries, see Ogonyok magazine’s Interstellar Sugar.