Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency said on Thursday that 10 smaller man-made craters were found in an asteroid, in addition to the largest crater that its Hayabusa2 space probe produced last month as part of its mission to learn the origin of the life and evolution. Of the solar system.
When the asteroid explorer fired a metal object at the Ryugu asteroid on April 5 to create a crater in a first world, scattered fragments of the impactor made other craters, about 1 meter in diameter each, said JAXA.
The newly discovered craters, along with the one previously found, which is approximately 10 meters in diameter and 2 to 3 meters deep, are expected to help the agency examine the asteroid's surface and estimate its age, according to JAXA.
The agency will continue investigating the surface of Ryugu, some 340 million kilometers from Earth, with the hope that by June it has found an adequate site for Hayabusa2 to collect more surface samples after the first such procedure in February.
Launched in December 2014 from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, Hayabusa2 arrived in Ryugu last June and is scheduled to return to Earth in late 2020 after completing its mission.