August 18, 2019

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.

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.

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.

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 asteroid mission checks out

March 9, 2015

Three months into an interplanetary cruise expected to last three-and-a-half years, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe is in good health as it begins an ion-powered pursuit of an asteroid to return a piece of it to Earth.

Philae’s “little cousin” heading for asteroid touchdown

December 2, 2014

Weeks after accomplishing the first touchdown on a comet, the team of European scientists that developed the Philae landing craft is awaiting launch of a related robot riding piggyback with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to achieve the same feat on an asteroid.

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