Hayabusa mission: Japanese space probe attempts to ‘bomb’ asteroid

(CNN)Japan’s space agency has attempted to detonate an explosive charge on an asteroid some 195 million miles from Earth, in hopes of creating a crater and collecting samples to shed light on the origin of the solar system. As the probe maneuvered to its evacuation position it deployed a small camera, called DCAM3, which scientists hope was able to capture the moment of detonation on the asteroid’s surface from a distance of about 1 km (0.6 miles). Ryugu, which is just under 3,000 ft (914 metres) wide, is currently 195 million miles from Earth. The probe has remained in orbit for months, and this is the second sample-collection mission it has undertaken. In February it successfully fired a “bullet” into …