The samples from the Ryugu Asteroid won’t surprise you: they’re just boring rocks

The Japanese State Space Agency (JAXA) just retrieved their probe the Hayabusa2 from its six year journey to an asteroid and back. We were so excited when we heard of the successful landing on the near earth asteroid where it surveyed and sampled the floating rock 162173 Ryugu. We were even excited when we heard we would soon get a look at the sample the probe brought back not long ago, who knew it would be as boring as it was? Just rocks!

Ryugu is a C-type asteroid which means that it’s made out of carbon so in hindsight it makes sense that it was just rocks. Way to send a probe to bring back that’s all over the place here on earth! We have out of work coal miners when JAXA is spending all this money for a few grams of carbon!

Out of a single sample from a single asteroid what would have been the chances of bringing back the symbiote Venom or even an alien egg. Probably not a lot. There wasn’t much chance of either of those, but that didn’t stop us from being super disappointed about how boring the sample was. I really couldn’t imagine a bigger waste of human resources and effort than just bringing back a bunch of Carbon-ey rocks that aren’t even sparkly diamonds.

Really boring rocks from Hayabusa2
IMAGE: JAPAN AEROSPACE EXPLORATION AGENCY

The sample isn’t even that big, just a few grams of black gravel. We have tons of gravel here on earth, what’s the point of operating a probe for six years and then launching a sample 130,000 miles back to earth without getting something a little more interesting than graphite gravel? The fact that these scientists knew it was probably gonna just be rocks makes this all the more infuriating. Why not look for cooler forms of carbon like diamonds or something life based? Isn’t that what a probe’s supposed to do?

They could have at least picked something with a little more excitement. Maybe some rare minerals or something shiny. There’s tons of more interesting things it could have brought back. Who cares that this is the first time that we can study an asteroid without it being damaged and burned by the earths atmosphere potentially unlocking untold secrets from these mysterious objects floating around the solar system? I want to see something that’s at least shiny!

A close up view of really boring rocks from Ryugu asteroid. It's just black gravel, why are you even interested
IMAGE: JAPAN AEROSPACE EXPLORATION AGENCY

For a moment we thought there was something shiny and exciting in this picture but apparently the scientists think it’s just part of the probe’s sampler horn. You didn’t have to ruin it that fast. We still don’t know that it has to be the easy boring explanation to that shiny manufactured looking aluminum! It could be the parts of an Alien asteroid base or ship or weapon. Why ruin the fun by telling us it’s from us without some wild speculations first?

Despite JAXA’s unwillingness to imagine something fun and exciting for us, we can tell they were also very disappointed. Apparently, the Hayabusa2 has already been sent out to look for something more interesting. The probe has had its life extended for a fly-by of 2001CC21 in July 2026 and to land on 1998 KY26 in July 2031. These are thankfully much more interesting than that wet blanket 162173 Ryugu.

The 2001 CC21 is an L-type asteroid which is a little more uncommon than some run of the mill C-Type. I don’t know what we’re going to find out about it since it’s just a fly by, but who knows! We’ll have five and a half years to speculate. It really sucks though that we have to wait until 2031 for 1998 KY26 which will not only be another landing but is X-Type!! X-types could have anything. I think the X is for X-TREME! We’ll just have to impatiently wait for Hayabusu2 to return from that one. Next time, it better not just bring black rocks!

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Published by B McGraw

B McGraw has lived a long and successful professional life as a software developer and researcher. After completing his BS in spaghetti coding at the department of the dark arts at Cranberry Lemon in 2005 he wasted no time in getting a masters in debugging by print statement in 2008 and obtaining his PhD with research in screwing up repos on Github in 2014. That's when he could finally get paid. In 2018 B McGraw finally made the big step of defaulting on his student loans and began advancing his career by adding his name on other people's research papers after finding one grammatical mistake in the Peer Review process.

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