Almost a month after the Japanese space agency JAXA will retrieve the mission samples Hayabusa 2, the surprises continue: among the collected remains of the asteroid Ryugu an artificial object has been found that they have not yet been able to identify. Among the black dust and rocks that contained the capsule that returned to Earth, they have found a shiny object, maybe part of fuselage of the ship.
This has been explained by JAXA through their Twitter account, where they have detailed that the discovery occurred on December 21, when the container recovered with the remains recovered from the remote asteroid was opened, and that they could provide important clues about the origins of the Solar System.
The curation work for the Ryugu sample is steadily progressing. On December 21, sample catcher chambers B & C were opened and then the contents of chambers A & C were moved to the collection containers in the photo. The largest particles in chamber C are about 1 cm! pic.twitter.com/yWO15cKhG9
“Conservation work on Ryugu’s samples is progressing steadily. On December 21, the sample collection chambers B and C were opened and then the contents of the chambers A and C were transferred to the collection containers seen in the photo. The largest particles in chamber C measure about 1 cm! “, They explain from the Japanese space agency.
In the image you can see a shiny metallic-looking object, a body that, for the moment, has not been identified, as they say from Jaxa: “We have not yet confirmed the origin of the artificial object. A projectile was used during sample collection and this body may be aluminum separated from the sampler during that time», They point out in a subsequent tweet. In other words, it is very likely that the ship, during some of the shots fired at the rock surface, suffered a detachment of the fuselage that, later, was trapped inside the capsule with the rest of the samples.
A mission to reveal the origins of the Solar System
The Hayabusa 2 mission aimed to collect samples from Ryugu, an unusual asteroid that scientists have suggested was formed from a cataclysm, according to a previous study published in “Science.” It is part of the condritas carbonáceas, a primitive type of asteroids characterized by their dark color.
After opening the capsule, the Japanese researchers discovered that there was more material than expected, as well as “big” rocks which will be analyzed in the coming months. The container also contained gas collected at the time of extraction, which will also be studied to find out if it is the asteroid itself that emanates them. Meanwhile, Hayabusa 2 has already embarked on the journey to 2001 CC 21, a very small and very fast rotating type of rare asteroid, then approaching another object called 1998 KY 26. If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft will reach its first destination in 2026 and its second in 2031.