It's a great day for space: launches, tests, orbits, and now a remote probe is going to shoot an asteroid with its space weapon and play a new crater in . It's Hayabusa 2, Japan's ambitious and highly successful return mission to an object called Ryugu.
Hayabusa 2 was launched in 2014 and has been in the Ryugu region for several months and is carrying out a series of investigations. It has four small lander on board, two of which broke off late last year and happily bounce around the asteroid.
In February, the plane itself landed on the surface and stirred up the dust considerably, but nothing, for example, what happens when they fire a large, old ball into the surface at 400 km / h with the Small Carry-on Impactor , Here is a test of the set-up shot in a laboratory here on Earth into a Ryugu-like substrate:
Now imagine an asteroid passing by with very little gravity ̵
Thereafter, more precisely in a few weeks, the Lander and Hayabusa 2 will themselves inspect the brand new crater and the exposed dust and rock layers. After some rehearsals, the ship will return home later this year.
This "crater generation" will take place later and pictures should arrive soon after – the team already has many wonderful pictures of Ryugu (as well as some great children's art). In fact, you should be able to follow more or less in real time, starting at 18 o'clock Pacific time: 
And if you want to know how The spacecraft is in use at all times, for example, you can always check in to the Haya2NOW web app, which contains all the relevant details as they are received. How convenient!