Chemical assessment of the explosive chamber in the projector system of Hayabusa2 for asteroid samplingOPEN ACCESS 

Yoshinori Takano, Keita Yamada, Chisato Okamoto, Hirotaka Sawada, Ryuji Okazaki, Kanako Sakamoto, Yoko Kebukawa, Kento Kiryu, Takazo Shibuya, Motoko Igisu, Hajime Yano, Shogo Tachibana & Hayabusa2 project team

Earth, Planets and Space volume 72, Article number: 97 (2020)


“We report a chemical assessment of the explosive chamber in the projector system used during the sampling operation of the Hayabusa2 project at the surface of the C-type asteroid Ryugu. Although the explosion process was designed as a closed system, volatile combustion gases and semivolatile organics were produced together with quenched carbonaceous product. The chemical compositions of the gases, organics, and inorganics were investigated in the screening analysis. A solid-phase microextraction technique and thermal desorption coupled with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis revealed that aliphatic (< C20n-alkanes) and aromatic (< pyrene) hydrocarbons were produced in the closed chamber system. The aromatic ring compositions of the latter showed a semilogarithmic decrease: one ring > two rings > three rings > four rings, resulting in abiogenic molecular patterns. The most intense inorganic fingerprints were due to potassium (K+) and chloride (Cl–) ions derived from the initial KTB explosive and RK ignition charge. We discuss quality control and quality assurance issues applicable to future sample processes during the Hayabusa2 project.”