Deepest scientific ocean drilling sheds light on Japan’s next great earthquake

The deep sea scientific drilling vessel Chikyu, which in 2018 performed the deepest drilling of a subduction zone earthquake fault. Credit: Satoshi Kaya/FlickR Scientists who drilled deeper into an undersea earthquake fault than ever before have found that the tectonic stress in Japan’s Nankai subduction zone is less than expected, according to a study from … Read more

Japan’s Upcoming Mission Will Use a Vacuum to Get its Sample From Phobos

JAXA, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, is carving out a niche for itself in sample-return missions. Their Hayabusa mission was the first mission to sample an asteroid when it brought dust from the asteroid Itokawa to Earth in 2010. Then its successor, Hayabusa 2, brought back a sample from asteroid Ryugu in 2020. Now JAXA … Read more

Japan’s asteroid samples faced pandemic, traffic jams on Earth

Collecting rocks from an asteroid is rocket science; getting them to the lab is another story. Take Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission, which launched in 2014 to grab pieces of a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu and delivered those samples to Earth in December 2020. Even when the space rocks reached Japan, the traveling wasn’t quite over. That’s … Read more