Scientists Japan He said they were surprised to see how much asteroid dust was inside the capsule provided by the Hayapusa-2 space probe.
The Japanese explorer last year collected surface dust and beautiful objects from the asteroid Ryuku, about 200 m (300 km) away, during two daring phases of its six-year journey.
This month, it dropped a capsule containing the samples, which was made into a fireball as it entered Earth’s atmosphere and landed in the Australian desert before being transported to Japan.
Scientists at the Japanese aerospace company Jaxa on Tuesday removed screws from the capsule’s inner container and found a small amount of asteroid dust already in the outer shell.
“When we actually opened it, I was speechless. It was more than we expected, so I was really impressed,” said Jackson scientist Hirodaka Savada.
Scientists hope that this material will shed light on the formation of the universe and provide clues as to how life began on Earth.
They have not yet revealed whether the substance inside is equal to or greater than the 0.1 gram they claimed to be finding.
Seichiro Watanabe, a Hayabusa project scientist and professor at Nagoya University, said he was pleased, however. “There’s a lot out there [of samples] And they seem to contain a lot of organic matter, ”he said. “So I hope Ryuku’s parents can find out a lot about how organic matter grew in their body.”
Half of the models of the Hayabusa-2 will be shared between Jaxa, the US space agency NASA and other international organizations. As advances in analysis technology are made the rest will be kept for future study.
But the mission is not over, and will now begin an expanded mission targeting two new asteroids.