This is one of the longest running blogs on the topic of Japan. The blog is about things occurring in Japan. All topics are fair game. I have been deep in the Japanese global community for 20 years, so ask questions if you have any. The blog started out focusing on the many unusual and literally ancient animals in Japan. Over time people wanted to know, see, and read more, so I expanded the blog.
A Japanese spacecraft just grabbed more rocks from the asteroid Ryugu
The procedure: After a few hours of maneuvering, the spacecraft touched down on Ryugu’s surface at 9.15pm EDT yesterday. It then fired a bullet into the asteroid and collected some of the debris stirred up by the shot.
Next steps: Hayabusa2 is scheduled to depart for Earth at the end of this year, but before it does it has a final task: deploying a smaller rover called MINERVA-II2 later this summer. Its primary goal will be to explore in an environment where there is very little gravity.
Long game: Ancient asteroids like Ryugu provide clues about the formation of the early solar system (including our own planet,) which makes the samples Hayabusa2 has collected so important. Labs on Earth will be able to start analyzing its cargo once it finally arrives home towards the end of 2020.