By Meghan Bartels, Senior Writer, Space.com

A Japanese spacecraft deployed a heavy, explosive-packed copper plate toward the asteroid Ryugu in an attempt to create an artificial crater last night (April 4), but it’s still unclear how the dramatic operation went.

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which has been studying the 3,000-foot-wide (900 meters) Ryugu up close since last June, released a 4.4-lb. (2 kilograms) hunk of copper late last night, along with a camera known as DCAM3 to record this “Small Carry-on Impactor” (SCI) operation.

“The spacecraft state is normal and it was confirmed that the evacuation operation, the separation of the SCI and DCAM3 went as planned. The SCI separation and evacuation sequence were a success,” mission team members wrote on Twitter around 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT and 3 p.m. Japan time) today (April 5).

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I believe shaped charges were invented by a Japanese physicist and went into the design of the first nuclear bombs. Now they’re bombing objects in space for research. It’s a crazy world that we live in.

    • ALot of What goes into the Japanese Military Developments comes mainly from their Folklore Creaters …….. like A ” Gundam ” is a Huge Humanoid Robot like you see in Movies and yes a Gundam has Cannons and Rockets to Shoot …………

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