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Hayabusa2 News

A pair of tiny hopping rovers are about to land on an asteroid

Japan's space agency (JAXA) is preparing to deploy two robotic explorers to the surface of an asteroid. On Friday, the Hayabusa-2 spacecraft will dispatch a pair of "rovers" to the 1kilometer-wide space rock known as Ryugu.

Asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 spacecraft reaches its destination

The Japanese spacecraft, Hayabusa2 arrived at the asteroid Ryugu Wednesday after a nearly four-year journey to undertake the first-ever sampling of newly unearthed material from an asteroid.

Japanese spacecraft closes to within 920 km of asteroid Ryugu

Hayabusa2, JAXA's asteroid explorer, and the MASCOT lander, developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the French space agency (CNES) have been traveling through space since December 2014. The intrepid spacecraft is now 920 km from its target.
 

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Artist’s concept of the Hayabusa2 probe taking an asteroid sample.
Artist’s concept of the Hayabusa2 probe taking an asteroid sample.
JAXA
An incredible shot of the Ryugu asteroid  taken on June 26 by the Hayabusa2 probe.
An incredible shot of the Ryugu asteroid, taken on June 26 by the Hayabusa2 probe.
JAXA, University of Tokyo and collaborators
The exposure time is about 0.09 seconds. The part of the image that covers Ryugu is now about 10 pix...
The exposure time is about 0.09 seconds. The part of the image that covers Ryugu is now about 10 pixels in diameter. We are describing the shape seen so far as a "dango"-type, as it looks like the round dango Japanese sweet dumpling made from rice flour (they taste delicious and we can recommend trying one). However, the shape does seem a little more angular, says the JAXA team.
Ground observation team: JAXA, Kyoto University, Japan Spaceguard Association, Seoul National Univer
Artist s conception of asteroid explorer  Hayabusa2
Artist's conception of asteroid explorer, Hayabusa2
JAXA/ (Courtesy of Akihiro Ikeshita)
The MINERVA II-1 rovers
The MINERVA II-1 rovers
JAXA