Updates‎ > ‎

2018-09-22. Hayabusa-2: Japan's rovers send pictures from asteroid.

posted Sep 22, 2018, 5:23 PM by Alan Gould   [ updated Sep 25, 2018, 9:53 PM ]
By BBC News. [https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45598156] For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 7. Excerpt: Japan's space agency (JAXA) has made history by successfully landing two robotic explorers on the surface of an asteroid. The two small "rovers", which were despatched from the Hayabusa-2 spacecraft on Friday, will move around the 1km-wide space rock known as Ryugu. The asteroid's low gravity means they can hop across it, capturing temperatures and images of the surface. ...Hayabusa-2 reached the asteroid Ryugu in June this year after a three-and-a-half-year journey. ...Early on Thursday morning (GMT), Hayabusa-2 began descending towards the surface of Ryugu, preparing to eject its rovers. ...The 1kg rovers are equipped with wide-angle and stereo cameras to send back pictures. Spine-like projections from the edges of the hoppers are sensors that will measure surface temperatures on the asteroid. ...The diamond-shaped asteroid has a blackish-coloured surface, and rotates on its axis around once every 7.5 hours. On 3 October, the mothership will deploy a lander called Mascot, which has been developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) together with the French Space Agency (CNES). And in late October, Hayabusa-2 will descend to the surface of Ryugu to collect a sample of rock and soil. ...Further on in the mission, Japan's space agency plans to detonate an explosive charge that will punch a crater into the surface of Ryugu. Hayabusa-2 would then descend into the crater to collect fresh rocks that have not been altered by aeons of exposure to the environment of space. These samples will be sent to Earth for laboratory studies. The spacecraft will leave Ryugu in December 2019 with the intention of returning to Earth with the asteroid samples in 2020.... See also New York Times article, Hayabusa2 Lands Two Rovers on Asteroid Ryugu
Comments