Asteroid Ryugu May Have Originated From a Comet Nucleus that Contained Amino Acids Needed for Life on Earth

Asteroid Ryugu with north polar boulder (Credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu and AIST)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Sample analysis of material returned from asteroid Ryugu through the efforts of the Hayabusa2 Project Team are being carried out by the Hayabusa2 Initial Analysis Team, which consists of 6 sub-teams, and two Phase-2 curation institutions, Okayama University and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research. This paper summarises research results from the Okayama University Phase-2 curation that was published in the Proceedings of the Japan Academy on June 10, 2022.


This Week on The Space Show

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This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

Tuesday, June 14 — 7 PM PDT (9 PM CDT; 10 PM EDT): Dr. Frances Zhu Motion capture for AI and robotics for space applications and more

Wednesday, June 15 — 1 PM PDT (3 PM CDT; 4PM EDT): Hotel Mars. John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston, Dr. Harold C. Connolly Jr. new & exciting developments with Hayabusa 2 with the author of the ground breaking paper just published

Friday, June 17 — 9:30-11 AM PDT; 11:30 AM- 1 PM CDT; 12:30-2 PM EDT: Sir Martin Rees, Donald Goldsmith Our guests discuss their new book, “The End of Astronauts” plus much more especially with robotics and future space exploration

Sunday, June 19 — 12-1:30 PM PDT, (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): Today is Father’s Day in the U.S. No program today while we all honor our Dads

Fujitsu Delivers New Technology to JAXA for Mapping and Analyzing Space Debris

Figure 1: Overview of the JAXA SSA System. (Credit: Fujitsu)

New analysis system will play a key role in JAXA’s “Space Situational Awareness System”

TOKYO, Apr 05, 2022 (Fujitsu PR) — Fujitsu today announced the development and deployment of a new analysis system to calculate orbital courses of space debris for use with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) “Space Situational Awareness System” (“SSA system”) for monitoring space debris. JAXA started operations of the new system at the Tsukuba Space Center on April 1, 2022.

JAXA will utilize the new technology to create plans on effective space debris observation, drawing on observation data from radar and optical telescope to calculate the trajectory of space debris and perform comparative analysis with the path of JAXA satellites. In case the system detects space debris approaching satellites, it will support the operators at JAXA in quickly responding to risks and avoid any possible collisions with the space debris by automatically calculating the possibility of a predicted collision and necessary course changes.


NASA Receives Special Cosmic Delivery of Asteroid Sample from Japan

A Hayabusa2 sample canister containing sample fragments of the asteroid Ryugu is transferred from JAXA to NASA. (Credits: NASA/Robert Markowitz)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Just as fossils hold clues to the history of life, asteroids hold clues to the history of the solar system. Rare samples collected from the surface of an asteroid by NASA and its international partners are helping to decipher these clues.


Highly Porous Rocks Responsible for Bennu’s Surprisingly Craggy Surface

During fall 2019, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image, which shows one of asteroid Bennu’s boulders with a bright vein that appears to be made of carbonate. The image within the circle (lower right) shows a focused view of the vein. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

TUCSON, Ariz. (University of Arizona PR) — Scientists thought asteroid Bennu’s surface would be like a sandy beach, abundant in fine sand and pebbles, which would have been perfect for collecting samples. Past telescope observations from Earth’s orbit had suggested the presence of ­­large swaths of fine-grain material called fine regolith that’s smaller than a few centimeters.


Discovery of the Most Primitive Boulders on Ryugu: Observational Results from the Asteroid Explorer, Hayabusa2, Published in Nature Astronomy

Asteroid Ryugu photographed by Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft. (Credit: JAXA)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Rikkyo University
The University of Tokyo
Kochi University
Chiba Institute of Technology
Maebashi Institute of Technology
Hokkaido University of Education
Nagoya University

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Research results from the exploration of Ryugu by the asteroid explorer, Hayabusa2, have been published in the British online journal, Nature Astronomy, on May 24, 2021 (May 25 JST). Assistant Professor Naoya Sakatani (Rikkyo University) from the Hayabusa2 science team is the lead author in this research.


Remote Sensing Data Sheds Light on When and How Asteroid Ryugu Lost its Water

Asteroid 1998 KY26 (insert) is approximately 1/30th the size of asteroid Ryugu. (Ryugu image: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST. 1998 KY26 image (insert): Auburn University, JAXA)

Rocks on Ryugu, a “rubble pile” near-Earth asteroid recently visited by Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, appear to have lost much of their water before they came together to form the asteroid, new research suggests.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Brown University PR) — Last month, Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission brought home a cache of rocks collected from a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu. While analysis of those returned samples is just getting underway, researchers are using data from the spacecraft’s other instruments to reveal new details about the asteroid’s past.


French Scientists to Help Analyze Hayabusa2 Asteroid Samples

Fig. 2 Sample container A inside the room (credit: JAXA)

The Japanese Hayabusa-2 mission returned at least 5.4 g of dust from the asteroid Ryugu. That’s 50 times more than expected! These unpublished samples could contain primitive organic molecules that played a role in the emergence of life on Earth.

PARIS (CNES PR) — A fabulous Christmas present! A harvest beyond expectations! A dream come true … Words fail to qualify the extraordinary success of the Hayabusa2 mission which deposited on December 6, 2020, in the Australian desert, a 40 cm diameter capsule containing a treasure: at least 5.4 g material from asteroid Ryugu. 


Asteroid Ryugu Dust Delivered to Earth; NASA Astrobiologists Prepare to Probe It

Artist’s concept of a NASA spacecraft speeding toward a rendezvous with an asteroid. (Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

By Lonnie Shekhtman
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — On Dec. 6 local time (Dec. 5 in the United States), Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 dropped a capsule to the ground of the Australian Outback from about 120 miles (or 200 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. Inside that capsule is some of the most precious cargo in the solar system: dust that the spacecraft collected earlier this year from the surface of asteroid Ryugu.  


Hera Team Congratulates JAXA on Asteroid Sample Return

The Hayabusa sample return capsule. (Credit: JAXA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The team behind ESA’s Hera asteroid mission for planetary defence congratulates JAXA for returning Hayabusa2’s capsule to Earth laden with pristine asteroid samples. They look forward to applying insights from this audacious space adventure to their own mission.


An Exciting Day for Science and Exploration

Hayabusa2 capsule with parachute in the Woomera Prohibited Area. (Credit: JAXA)

by Thomas Zurbuchen
Associate Administrator, NASA Science Mission Directorate

Today marks an exciting and historic event as precious samples from asteroid Ryugu have been brought to Earth by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 mission. This is an extremely challenging endeavor and we commend and congratulate Japan on being not only the first nation that has been able to carry out a successful asteroid retrieval mission, but to now have done so for the second time!


Images From the Recovery of Hayabusa2 Capsule

Hayabusa2 capsule with parachute in the Woomera Prohibited Area. (Credit: JAXA)

Japan’s Hayabusa2 sample return capsule parachuted into the Woomer Prohibited Area in Australia on Saturday carrying soil and rock samples from the asteroid Ryugu.

Examining the Hayabusa2 return capsule. (Credit: JAXA)
Recovering the Hayabusa2 return capsule. (Credit: JAXA)
The Hayabusa sample return capsule. (Credit: JAXA)
The Hayabusa sample return capsule. (Credit: JAXA)

Hayabusa2 Return Capsule Lands in Australia

Hayabusa2’s return capsule streaks across the sky as it reenters the Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The capsule onboard the asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 re-entered the atmosphere at around 2:28 JST on December 6, 2020. 

After that, as a result of searching the capsule body with a helicopter, it was found in Woomera Prohibited Area in Australia at 4:47 JST on December 6, 2020.

The capsule collection work is scheduled to be carried out on the morning of December 6, 2020 Japan time. The return vehicle is carrying soil and rock samples from asteroid Ryugu.

NASA Johnson Builds Labs to Study New Asteroid Samples, Cosmic Mysteries

A rendering of the new asteroid lab being built at Johnson Space Center. When the samples are returned to Earth in 2023 they will be brought to this lab for curation and initial examination. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — When the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft touches asteroid Bennu, it will capture NASA’s first sample from an asteroid and provide rare specimens for research that scientists hope will help them shed light on the many mysteries of our solar system’s formation.

The sample is scheduled for return to Earth in 2023 to be examined and stored in state-of-the-art curation facilities now under construction at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The labs will be managed by NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science division, also known as ARES. The division is home to the world’s greatest astromaterials collections — including lunar rocks, solar wind particles, meteorites, and comet samples — and some of the experts who research them.