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Japan’s Hayabusa2 Asteroid Monster: How to Watch the Fireball Return Live Now



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A capsule of pristine asteroid samples will blaze a path to Earth on Saturday morning Pacific Time.

JAXA

In the past two weeks some beautiful fireballs have been caught exploding above the earth, but none of them are as significant as the one that would flash in the sky today. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is prepare to collect samples created from near-Earth asteroid Ryugu by the expertly designed Hayabusa2 probe.

The spacecraft’s monster collection capsule will land near Woomera in the Australian outback on early Sunday morning – Saturday in the US and Europe – to provide space guards with a dazzling light show.

Do you want to know how to view the example of a return mission live? Below you will find everything you need to know.

What is it all about? Hayabusa2 launched in 2014 and rendezvous with asteroid Ryugu in June 2018. After shooting at the asteroid with a bullet in 2019the spacecraft was able to grab samples of underground material from the space rock – possibly the first time a spacecraft has done so – and store it in the capsule that will return to Earth this weekend.

Until JAXA scientists and engineers get back to Japan, we don’t know exactly what was captured, but it seems incredibly likely that we will be able to look inside an asteroid for the first time. The material trapped in it can tell us about the early solar system and explain how water was carried to the planet in its formative years.

JAXA will provide a live stream of the event from Mission Control. Streaming started at 9 p.m. PT (noon ET) on Saturday, December 5. The broadcast is expected to last approximately 70 minutes, but can extend to 90 minutes. That’s a few seconds after the fireball is expected to appear and whether there will be visibility from the ground when the spacecraft returns to Earth is currently uncertain.

“Given the nature of our activities with the minimum number of team members in Woomera, we can’t promise anything, but if it does, it will be live streamed from Sagamihara, Japan,” said Masaki Fujimoto, deputy director of the Institute of Space. and Astronautical Science at JAXA.

That livestream can be viewed below. More than 80 scientists and engineers from JAXA are currently stationed in Woomera and the nearby inland city Coober Pedy ready to spring into action as Hayabusa2 Ubers take his asteroid monster to Earth.

This page is constantly being updated in the run-up to the launch.


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