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No less than 5 house rocks headed in the direction of Earth this week, as Japan extends its Hayabusa2 asteroid-hunter mission

At least 5 space rocks headed towards Earth this week, as Japan extends its Hayabusa2 asteroid-hunter mission

In yet one more cosmic barrage of boulders and particles, NASA is warning of not less than 5 shut asteroid flybys this week, simply days after Japan’s house company introduced it will be extending its asteroid-hunter mission.

To kick issues off, on September 21 the 10-meter and 16-meter 2020 RQ6 and 2020 SJ2 will shoot previous the Earth at distances of 1.2 and 1.four million kilometers respectively. 

Earlier than anybody can breathe a sigh of aid, nonetheless, three extra Close to-Earth Objects are anticipated to fly previous on September 22.


At 50m in diameter, or as tall because the Arc de Triomphe, the most important of the three, named 2020 RD5, will cross the Earth at 61,000 kph at a mercifully protected distance of 4 million kilometers. 

Not lengthy after, the paltry-by-comparison 2020 SM2, measuring simply 5.8m in diameter, or 4 Danny DeVitos stacked on prime of each other, will zoom previous Earth, simply 1.2 million km away. 

Citing the rear would be the 27-meter 2020 RB6, touring at a staggering 71,000 kph, set to cross our planet at a ‘shut strategy’ distance of two.5 million km.

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Illustration: © Pixabay / urikyo33
Two asteroids set to cross Earth’s orbit simply hours aside as one other Nice Pyramid-sized house rock barrels our method

In the meantime, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 asteroid hunter, which efficiently landed on and ‘shot’ the asteroid Ryugu with a specialised bullet with the intention to acquire samples for evaluation again on Earth, is ready to increase its mission and contact down on one other house rock. 

The preliminary pattern is because of return to Earth this December, with a deliberate touchdown in Australia. 

Nevertheless, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA) confirmed at a press briefing late final week that the mission can be prolonged and that, after a flying go to to drop off the pattern, the probe can be headed for the tennis-court-sized 1998 KY26 asteroid, positioned between Venus and Mars. 

Regardless of the obvious proximity to Earth, the spacecraft will spend 5 years cruising across the photo voltaic system earlier than observing yet one more asteroid en path to 1998 KY26, at which level mission management will determine whether or not a touchdown is possible or not.

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