Shortly after the Japanese probe Hayabusa2 returned to Earth, JAXA exhibited some of the samples taken from the asteroid Ryugu. These rocks originated from chamber “A” of the probe’s sample capsule, meaning they were collected during the mission’s first touchdown in February 2019. Now JAXA has released photos showing the contents of chamber “C” of the capsule, which she opened on December 21.
We have not yet confirmed the origin of the artificial object (人工 物). A projectile was used during the sample collection and it is possible that it was aluminum separated from the sampler horn at that time.
– HAYABUSA2 @ JAXA (@ haya2e_jaxa) December 24, 2020
In JAXA’s tweet, he said the agency had opened both rooms “B” and “C”. Chamber “B” is empty since it was not used for collection, but chamber “C” was used to collect samples during the second Hayabusa2 touchdown in July 2019. JAXA fired an explosive in the asteroid before the second hit to create a crater and be able to collect samples deeper underground. Scientists hope the underground samples may offer more clues to the formation and early days of the solar system, since they had not been exposed to the hash environment of space.