October 22, 2018

MASCOT lander hops around asteroid, exceeding scientists’ expectations

October 5, 2018

The MASCOT lander released from Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft this week made three hops to different locations on asteroid Ryugu before draining its battery, outliving its design life and sending back data from all four of its instruments, according to German and French officials who developed the surface robot.

Live coverage: MASCOT lander begins exploring asteroid Ryugu

October 2, 2018

Track the progress of the MASCOT lander, a tiny robot developed in Germany and France, as it explores asteroid Ryugu for a daring mission to hop across the austere world’s boulder-strewn landscape, taking pictures and collecting scientific data along the way. The robotic probe was released from the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft around 0200 GMT Wednesday (10 p.m. EDT Tuesday), and touched down a few minutes later.

Descent begins for European asteroid lander

October 2, 2018

A German-built landing probe the size of a microwave oven carrying a camera and a suite of scientific instruments was closing in on an asteroid Tuesday, riding aboard Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to join two other robots deployed to the asteroid’s surface last month.

Japanese robots land on asteroid, send back pictures

September 22, 2018

A pair of tiny automated robots touched down on asteroid Ryugu on Friday after separating from Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft, sending back pictures as the probes bounced across the asteroid’s alien landscape nearly 200 million miles from Earth.

Hayabusa 2 team sets dates for asteroid landings

September 6, 2018

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is preparing to release three hopping robots to land on asteroid Ryugu in the coming month, with tiny instruments scientists hope will explore the airless world’s boulder-strewn landscape and return the first images from the surface of an asteroid.

Two NASA probes catch first glimpses of primordial targets

August 29, 2018

Two NASA spacecraft — the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission and the New Horizons probe at the edge of the solar system — have captured their first looks at their targets as they approach a pair of primordial relics for the first time.

Hayabusa 2 probe gets a closer look at asteroid amid landing preps

August 15, 2018

The Japanese Hayabusa 2 spacecraft dropped within a half-mile of asteroid Ryugu last week, probing its gravity field ahead of key decisions in the coming days to settle on a target site for the robotic mission’s first sample collection attempt, and the best touchdown location for a European lander stowed on the mothership.

Asteroid Ryugu revealed by approaching Japanese spacecraft

June 20, 2018

In the final days of a three-and-a-half year pursuit, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sample return spacecraft is beaming back clearer images of asteroid Ryugu, an unexplored object that scientists say resembles a spinning top or dumpling nearly 180 million miles from Earth.

Government study looks to improve planning for possible asteroid impact

June 20, 2018

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is spearheading a 10-year plan to improve detection of near-Earth asteroids and comets that could crash into Earth and to expand research into possible countermeasures to deflect an incoming body if detected in time, officials said Wednesday.

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