Project team members applaud in the control room of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Sagamihara campus after confirming the manmade crater on the surface of asteroid Ryugu created by the Hayabusa 2. (Provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

Japan's space agency confirmed on April 25 that its Hayabusa 2 space probe successfully created a crater on the surface of Ryugu after firing a metal projectile earlier in the month, the first-ever manmade crater on an asteroid.

“It was a great success, making such a clear crater,” said Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency project manager Yuichi Tsuda. “I’m so delighted I’m jumping for joy.”

The unmanned spacecraft created the crater near the asteroid’s equator by firing a 2-kilogram copper mass into the asteroid at high speed from a “small carry-on impactor” device that separated from the probe above Ryugu.

An explosive inside the device was set off to fire the copper mass at the surface of the asteroid, about 300 million kilometers from Earth.

The round-shaped crater was confirmed to be estimated about 10 meters in diameter by comparing images of the asteroid surface captured by the Hayabusa 2 probe before and after the impact, taken 1.7 km above the surface.

The latest image shows clear dents and traces from which rocks and gravel were flung from the distant “spinning top” asteroid following the impact.

The depth of the crater remains unknown at this time.

Water and organic matter dating back some 4.6 billion years ago, around the time the solar system was formed, are believed to remain in a pristine state inside the rocks beneath the surface of Ryugu.

The probe will land on the rocky asteroid to collect samples of sand, gravel and stones inside the crater as early as late May.

If the probe succeeds in its mission, it could lead to unlocking the mystery of how the solar system was formed as well as where water on Earth originated.