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Hayabusa 2's asteroid touch-and-go comes to life in a dramatic new video – Spaceflight Now

<img src = "data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP /// yH5BAEAAAAAAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7" class = "lazy lat hidden" data-Latin type = "iframe" data-Latin-src = "[embedded content]" alt = "" /> [embedded content] A camera that drove on Japan's Hayabusa 2 spacecraft recorded a fantastic view of the probe's final descent to asteroid Ryugu last month, showing the rocky debris saved by the robot explorer's touch-and-go landing to collect a return sample. earth. The built-in camera observed Hayabusa 2's sampling horn contact Ryuguus gravel surface on February 21 when the spacecraft briefly touched and fired a tantalum bullet in the asteroid and burst pieces of rock and powder into the probe's sampling column. [19659004] The video released by the Japanese Space Research Agency on Tuesday shows Hayabusa 2 which begins its final descent from a swing position about 8.5 meters above the asteroid, then freely descending to Ryugu, pulled by the asteroid's thin gravity. After shooting the asteroid with the projectile, Hayabusa fired 2 rocket guns to start climbing into space as pieces of stone thrown away from the Ryugu float nearby. JAXA says the video was released Tuesday running at five times the normal speed. The camera that captured the spectacular image was built and installed using donations from the public. Researchers explained the touch-and-go operation a success and the mission leaders are convinced that Hayabusa 2 made a sufficient sample from Ryugu. Earth regulators ordered Hayabusa 2 to seal the chamber containing the collected asteroid samples for return to earth. Hayabusa…

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A camera that drove on Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft recorded a fantastic view of the probe’s final descent to asteroid Ryugu last month, showing the rocky debris saved by the robot explorer’s touch-and-go landing to collect a return sample. earth.

The built-in camera observed Hayabusa 2’s sampling horn contact Ryuguus gravel surface on February 21

when the spacecraft briefly touched and fired a tantalum bullet in the asteroid and burst pieces of rock and powder into the probe’s sampling column. [19659004] The video released by the Japanese Space Research Agency on Tuesday shows Hayabusa 2 which begins its final descent from a swing position about 8.5 meters above the asteroid, then freely descending to Ryugu, pulled by the asteroid’s thin gravity. After shooting the asteroid with the projectile, Hayabusa fired 2 rocket guns to start climbing into space as pieces of stone thrown away from the Ryugu float nearby.

JAXA says the video was released Tuesday running at five times the normal speed. The camera that captured the spectacular image was built and installed using donations from the public.

Researchers explained the touch-and-go operation a success and the mission leaders are convinced that Hayabusa 2 made a sufficient sample from Ryugu. Earth regulators ordered Hayabusa 2 to seal the chamber containing the collected asteroid samples for return to earth.

Hayabusa 2 is about halfway through its approximately 18-month stay at asteroid Ryugu and the spacecraft’s touch-and-go February 21 achieved one of the mission’s main goals. Next up will be Hayabusa 2’s release of a bumper to hit the asteroid and cut an artificial crater and expose underground rock material for another sampling attempt later this year.

Hayabusa 2 can return to Earth with at least 100 milligrams of asteroid material, enough for researchers to analyze Ryugu’s chemical composition, reveal information about the object’s history and development. The results can give clues about how water and organic molecules were delivered to the earth in the old solar system.

Designed as a spin stop, Ryugu measures nearly 3000 meters (900 meters) diameter and is rich in coal. Scientists classify Ryugu as a C-type asteroid, and Hayabusa 2’s targets cross the Earth’s orbit on every 1.3-year loop around the sun, making it a potentially dangerous object that can eventually hit our planet.

The next job of the Asteroid probe will be to investigate the planned site for impulse deployment, which is scheduled for use in the first week of April. Hayabusa 2 will burn the copper rock at high speed, creating a crater that reveals immobile rock for Hayabusa 2 picking up on a second touch-and-go maneuver.

But Hayabusa 2 will first drop near the asteroid again at the end of April to investigate the crater before officials decide whether the area is sufficiently secure to continue with the mission’s other sampling attempts. If managers approve the plan, Hayabusa 2’s second touch-and-go at Ryugu is scheduled once after May.

The spacecraft releases the last four small robot markers that were transported to Ryugu sometime after July according to an updated update. mission timeline released by JAXA this week. Hayabusa 2 delivered three jumpers to Ryugu – two from Japan and one from Europe – in September and October.

Mission planner originally intended Hayabusa 2 to collect samples from three sites on the asteroid, but the officials this week said a third sampling attempt It is unlikely before the probe leaves the asteroid.

The mission is scheduled to resign Ryugu in November or December, using ion-guns for return to Earth, where Hayabusa 2’s trial return capsule will be parachuting to a landing in Australia at the end of 2020

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .

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