A capsule with 100 milligrams of rock samples from the Ryugu asteroid landed at a military training ground called Woomera in South Australia. The material was obtained in 2018 and 2019 by the Japanese Hayabusa-2 probe. The probe's mission lasted 6 years, but all its stages ran perfectly. It must be emphasized here that it was the most complicated undertaking in the history of the Japanese space industry, as well as of all mankind.
The asteroid Ryugu is over 4 billion years old and poses a potential threat to our planet due to the fact that it is on a collision course with it. The study of samples will therefore allow us to develop technologies that will give us a chance to protect against cosmic rocks, but also allow us to learn about the turbulent past of the formation of celestial bodies and the Earth and the flourishing of biological life on it.
Test shooting with the drone. A reassuring ally to run around this vast land. Tonight, M and the DFS teams will find the capsule and then pass the task to the helicopter or drone corps. (Collection Team M) pic.twitter.com/GXAOlNQUv4
Astronomers believe that Ryugu was once part of larger objects, namely Glade and Eulalia, celestial bodies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Both objects experienced collisions with larger objects, and some of them formed Ryugu. The Japanese believe that objects such as the Ryugu, billions of years ago, could have brought to Earth and started the flowering of life as we know it. If in fact it was as they suggest, then life in the universe may be more common than we think.
Rock samples from the asteroid Ryugu are not the only ones that will land on Earth in the near future and will be used for more detailed research in laboratories. In a week's time, the Chinese capsule with samples from the Moon will settle on Earth, and in 2023 it will be the American capsule with samples planet watching the asteroid Bennu. Interestingly, this heavenly body is also on a collision course with our planet, so we are dealing here with missions that are designed to develop technology to protect humanity.