Ryugu asteroid samples show presence of water

NHK -- Jun 18
A Japanese researcher says an initial analysis of samples from the Ryugu asteroid has yielded data that shows the presence of plenty of water and organic matter on the asteroid.

Professor Nakamura Eizo of Okayama University announced the findings at a news conference held by the Japanese space agency JAXA on Thursday.

His team is one of the eight in Japan that have received or will receive samples of rock and sand from Ryugu for analysis. The samples were brought to Earth last December in a capsule released by Japan's Hayabusa2 asteroid probe.

The Okayama University researchers began analyzing the samples on June 2 ahead of the other teams.

Nakamura said his team measured the amount of hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen atoms in the samples, and converted the data into the amount of water and organic matter that could be formed.