News / Science & Technology

Japan Successfully Tests 'Space Cannon'

An artist's rendition of the Hayabusa-2 asteroid explorer. (JAXA)
An artist's rendition of the Hayabusa-2 asteroid explorer. (JAXA)

Related Articles

NASA Lifts Ban on Chinese Scientists at US Conference

NASA says its initial decision to bar access to the Chinese scientists was unfortunate and based on a misinterpretation of government policy

NASA Breaks Data Transmission Speed Record With Laser Shot to Moon

NASA downloaded data at a rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps) using a pulsed laser beam

Water Discovered in Extrasolar, Rocky World

Scientists think system had potential to contain Earth-like exoplanets
VOA News
Japan is making plans to blast an asteroid with a “space cannon” built specially for that purpose.  But the goal isn’t saving Earth from an apocalyptic strike by the 900-meter wide space rock.  Instead, scientists hope to gather soil and other debris from the impact to learn about the early days of our solar system.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) recently tested the space cannon, which it hopes to use to blast a hole in the asteroid 1999JU3 in 2018.

The cannon will be aboard the Hayabusa-2 probe, scheduled to be launched in 2014 with the target of rendezvousing with the asteroid, which orbits between Earth and Mars, four years later.

Once there, the plan is for the cannon to shoot an 8-kilogram projectile at the asteroid. Hayabusa-2 will then land on the asteroid, collect samples of debris from the impact, and return the samples to Earth.

"An artificial crater that can be created by the device is expected to be a small one, a few meters in diameter, but ... by acquiring samples from the surface that is exposed by the collision, we can get fresh samples that are less weathered by the space environment or heat," JAXA said in a statement.

Scientists believe 1999JU3 has changed very little since the formation of the solar system.

In 2010, Japan successfully returned samples from the Itokawa asteroid in the original Hayabusa mission.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Abel Ogah from: Oju Benue state Nigeria
October 28, 2013 7:27 AM
The Hayabusa-2 asteroid explorer will do well to bring back to earth a cure for incurable ailments.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid