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Japanese Hayabusa-2 spacecraft BOMBS Ryugu asteroid, reports claim

Japan’s Hayabusa-2 spacecraft has detonated an explosive charge on the Ryugu asteroid , according to reports.

The spacecraft has been exploring the asteroid since February, and is now attempting to create a  10 metre-wide artificial crater.

The report, by Kyodo News, claims that the results of the experiment will be confirmed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), later this month.

During the experiment, an explosive device called a Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI) was released by Hayabusa-2.

Hayabusa-2 was due to land this month, it will now wait until next year to collect its samples

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The spacecraft then moved to the other side of the asteroid to ensure it was shielded from any flying debris.

Thankfully, the whole thing should have been caught on camera, thanks to a small camera called DCAM3, which observed the explosion from a distance of about 1km.

If the explosion has been successful, Hayabusa-2 will explore the crater and collect samples, which could reveal clues on how planets form.

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Speaking to BBC News , mission project manager Yuchi Tsuda said: “We expect the impact accuracy to be something like a 200m radius, it's very large… we expect to have a hole somewhere in that very big region.

"We will try to find that artificial crater two weeks later, by descending to a lower altitude and making extensive observations."

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