In 2019, Japanese spacecraft fired cannon round into asteroid. Researchers have analyzed results

In 2019, Japanese spacecraft fired cannon round into asteroid. Researchers have analyzed results
Japanese spacecraft bull's eyes a near-Earth asteroid for all mankind. SPACE.com video clip via Boing Boing

[Ed. – C’mon man.  If we can fire a copper cannonball into an asteroid, we can lick the coronavirus.  This was done to have a new crater to compare old craters to, BTW, in order to analyze the asteroid’s surface characteristics, composition, and age.]

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 spacecraft fired a copper cannonball into Ryugu, an 850 meter-wide near-Earth asteroid. The 2 kilogram “Small Carry-on Impactor,” a bit larger than a tennis ball, hit the asteroid at approximately 7,200 kilometers/hour and blew out a 14.5 meter wide crater with a depth of .6 meters. After a year of analysis, scientists have reported their analysis of the plume created by the impact and properties of the crater. …

[…]

Features of the artificial crater and the plume suggested that the growth of a crater was limited mostly by the asteroid’s gravity and not by the strength of the space rock’s surface. This, in turn, suggested that Ryugu has a relatively weak surface, one only about as strong as loose sand, which is consistent with recent findings that Ryugu is made of porous, fragile material.

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