Life-critical substances found in asteroid samples collected by the Japanese space probe

Asteroid Ryugu was installed on the Hayabusa2 spacecraft around 00:01 JST on June 24, 2018, after a journey of approximately 3.2 billion km from its launch in outer space 280 million km away from the Earth. Taken by T. This handout photo released by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). (Required credit JAXA-Distribution via the University of Tokyo / Reuters)

In December 2020, researchers discovered up to 20 amino acids, which are essential substances for living things on Earth, from asteroid samples obtained by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft in Japan.

This is the first time that amino acids, which are components of proteins, have been discovered on asteroids, Kyodo News. report, It quotes an unnamed Ministry of Education employee.

After six years of Odyssey to the Ryugu asteroid, which is more than 300 million kilometers away from Earth, capsules containing more than 5.4 grams of surface material arrived in Japan in December 2020.

Research institutes nationwide, including the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the University of Tokyo and Hiroshima University, began a complete analysis of the sample last year.

Sample analysis is expected to reveal more about the formation of the solar system and the origin of life on Earth. Previous analysis has revealed that asteroids contain primitive substances rich in water and organic matter.

“Ground observations of asteroids and laboratory analysis of meteorite optical properties suggest that C-type asteroids are the origin of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, but no direct evidence is available,” JAXA said. Says. Website.

Asteroids are believed to have formed at dawn in the solar system, and scientists say the samples may contain organic matter that may have contributed to life on Earth.

Named after Hayabusa, Hayabusa2 orbited over Ryugu for several months before landing, using a small explosive to blow up the crater and collecting its debris. After dropping the capsule, I changed my course and returned to space.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Aldograph Redley


Aldgra Fredly is a Malaysia-based freelance writer featuring the Epoch Times Asia Pacific News.

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