Skip to comments.Japanese Sample Return Spacecraft Reaches Target Asteroid
Posted on 06/27/2018 10:53:40 AM PDT by Red Badger
Japan's Hayabusa-2 spacecraft will collect a piece of the asteroid Ryugu and bring it back to Earth.
The asteroid Ryugu, recently imaged by the Hayabusa-2 spacecraft that will now prepare to collect a sample. JAXA _____________________________________________________________________________________
Japans Hayabusa-2 spacecraft has been traveling through space for almost four years, and it has finally reached its destination. The spacecraft has traveled all this way to a small asteroid, named Ryugu, for a singular purpose: to collect a piece of it and bring it back to Earth.
Hayabusa-2 is the successor to Japans original Hayabusa spacecraft, which visited the asteroid Itokawa in 2005. The original Hayabusa snatched a sample from Itokawa and brought it back for scientists to study. This was the first successful asteroid sample-return mission, and scientists learned so much from it that they decided to launch a second spacecraft to collect more asteroid material.
This time around, Hayabusa-2 is focused on a slightly different type of asteroid. The original Hayabusa visited an S-type asteroid, a lighter variety made mostly of silicon. Hayabusa-2, however, is visiting a C-type asteroid, which are far more common than S-types and are typically made of older material. Studying a C-type asteroid can tell us more about the rocky bodies in our solar system and what the system looked like when it was young.
Now that Hayabusa-2 has finally reached its target, it can begin the next phase of its journey: finding a suitable location to land and collect its sample. Over the next year and a half, Hayabusa-2 will study Ryugu in detail, collecting scientific data on the asteroid before finally landing and collecting its sample in 2019. Then, it will begin the journey back to Earth in 2020.
Once it arrives back home, scientists will study the sample to learn as much as they can about itbut we likely wont have to wait until 2020 to get new discoveries from the Hayabusa-2 mission. The spacecraft is already sending back images of the asteroid that scientists can use to learn more about our solar system, which means the first real discovery made with Hayabusa data could happen very soon.
This headline is ... not artful.
This has got Gojira written all over it.
“This has got Gojira written all over it.”
These folks will be happy:
It’s Popular Mechanics, not National Geographic................
It looks like a giant D8 from my days of playing Dungeons & Dragons.
Hopefully, they learned how to cushion and hold the craft while sampling. The first one bounced off, leaving them in suspense until the return as to how much, if any, material was collected.
If they can do this much, they should be able to bring the whole thing home..........................
That's what it is.
If it stops on anything less than 6 we lose.
I hope they don’t bring back a Godzilla egg.
It looks like the moon of Bizarro world
This is extremely important investigative exploration. The Japanese should have our hearty congratulations. Obama’s NASA diminishment is on full display as they spent their time investigating Islamic contributions past and future to space exploration as the only newsworthy aspect of the Obama NASA tenure.
I have a bunch of those in my backyard grill...
Congrats to the Japanese. I don’t see how they can afford it but this is important science.
Disasteroid definition: unintentional impact of a spacecraft upon a big space rock
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