Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) sample-return capsule is set to land in Woomera this Sunday.
The capsule contains samples collected from primordial asteroid Ryugu, which scientists think may give insight into the origins of life on earth.
Dr Masaki Fujimoto, deputy director general of JAXA’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, has said that the samples could confirm the theory that Earth was originally very dry due to its proximity to the sun and gained water from other planetary bodies that were born in the outer part of the solar system.
Dr Fujimoto expects the samples collected from Ryugu will contain organic matter and possibly water; both “essential materials for the origin of life”.
He also said observations suggest the substance of Ryugu’s surface appeared “flaky” and very porous. Hence the expectation, the capsule will contain material that has never been studied before.
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