comscore Japanese space explorer to blow crater in asteroid | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Japanese space explorer to blow crater in asteroid

[ AD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS STORY ]

TOKYO » A Japanese space explorer was launched Wednesday on a six-year roundtrip journey to blow a crater in a remote asteroid and collect samples from inside in hopes of gathering clues to the origin of earth.

The explorer is expected to reach the asteroid in 2018 and spend about 18 months studying it before returning in 2020.

Hayabusa2, a rectangular unit with two sets of solar panels sticking out of its sides, was launched from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The main unit measures 3.2 x 5.2 x 4.6 feet and weighs about 1,300 pounds.

The research includes shooting a projectile into the asteroid to blast open a crater so the explorer can collect rock samples from inside.

Asteroids can provide evidence not available on earth about the birth of the solar system and its evolution. Japan’s space agency said Hayabusa2 will explore the origin of seawater and how the planet earth was formed.

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up