Japan Current Affairs - 2020

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Hayabusa2: Japanese spacecraft starts year-long journey home from asteroid

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 probe is heading back to earth from its mission of collecting samples from an asteroid called Ryugu, about 300 million kilometres from Earth. The unmanned probe ‘Hayabusa 2’, named after a falcon is scheduled to return to Earth by the end of 2020.

Why Asteroid? Asteroids are believed to have formed at the dawn of solar system. Moreover, scientists believe that asteroid Ryugu may contain organic matter that may have contributed to life on Earth.

About Japan’s Hayabusa 2

The spacecraft first touched down on the asteroid Ryugu in February 2019 with a mission to collect samples that could provide clues to the origin of solar system as well as life on Earth. Scientists also hope that the samples contain carbon and organic matter that could explain how they are related to Earth.

Mission: Mission of Spacecraft was to gather around 10g of dislodged debris. During sample collection, the spacecraft approached 1km-wide asteroid with an instrument called the sampler horn and on touchdown, a 5g ‘bullet’ made of metal tantalum was fired into rocky surface at 300m/s.

The Hayabusa2 made two touchdowns on the asteroid and successfully collected data and samples during its 1½-year mission since arriving there in June 2018. Any material thus collected will be stored onboard the probe until its return to Earth. The mission costed nearly 29 billion yen (£205m).

The spacecraft is expected to return to Earth in late 2020 and drop a capsule containing the precious samples in Australian desert. After dropping off a capsule containing the samples, the probe will not land but rather will keep itself going on and fly away into space, thus finishing its 6-year mission.

If the return trip is completed successfully it will be the first time that samples from beneath an asteroid’s surface have been brought back to Earth.

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India to participate in 2020 Olympics

India is scheduled to participate in Olympics 2020 that is to be conducted in Tokyo between 24 July 2020 and 9 August 2020. Indian athlete made their official debut in 1900 Olympics that was held in Paris. However, they appeared continuously in every edition since 1920.

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, shot putter Inderjeet Singh were to participate in the Olympics in 2020. However, Inderjeet’s name was dropped after CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) handed a 4-year ban earlier in October, 2019.

CAS

The Court of Arbitration for Sport is an international quasi-judicial body. Its headquarters is located in Lausanne, Switzerland. The court of the body is situated in New York, Sydney. The disputes related to Olympics can only be submitted to CAS. All the Olympics international federations and National Olympic committees including India’s National anti-doping agency (NADA) have recognized the body.

Tokyo Olympics 2020

The 2020 Olympics officially known as Games of the XXXII Olympiad, a multi-sport event is to be hosted by the Tokyo city for second time. This is the second of the three consecutive Olympics that is to be held in East Asia. The first was held in 2018 in Pyeongchang County South Korea. It was the Winter Olympics and the one being held in 2020 is Summer Olympics. The next is to be held in 2022, (the Winter Olympics), in Beijing, China.

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