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Japan will send Hayabusa-2 probe to asteroid in November

Japan has scheduled the launch of unique Hayabusa-2 space probe for November 30. Its goal is to collect soil on the asteroid.

Japan will send Hayabusa-2 probe to asteroid in November

H-IIA rocket vehicle will be launched from the single spaceport in Japan on the island of Tanegashima.

Hayabusa-2 will go to the 920-meter asteroid 1999JU3. It will take the probe four years to get to this object. Scientists suggest that the soil samples, the space "asteroid hunter" will take will are likely to contain organic matter and water. They hope that this experiment will shed light on the pathways of life in the universe.

Last year, Japan has successfully tested a special gun with the help of which Hayabusa-2 will be able to get samples of soil from the depths of the asteroid. It was also reported that the probe would take into space the electronic chip with messages from Earth, which later will be attached to the surface of the celestial body. The return of the vehicle with the soil samples is planned for 2020.

The machine is a new modified version of the Hayabusa probe, which previously was the first-ever one to return to Earth with material collected on the surface of the outer body besides the Moon. In May 2003, Hayabusa was sent to small asteroid Itokawa 336,500,000 km away from the Earth, which landed there in November 2005. In June 2010, the vehicle returned to the Earth and shot off the landing capsule containing sand and dust samples. It is believed that within 7 years the probe has made the longest journey in the history of humankind.