January 26, 2020

Japanese sample return craft departs asteroid, heads for Earth

November 13, 2019

Closing out a year-and-a-half of exploration, surveys and sampling operations at asteroid Ryugu, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft fired thrusters in a departure maneuver Wednesday and headed for Earth with specimens snatched from the asteroid’s dark and rocky surface.

Japanese spacecraft snags second sample from asteroid

July 11, 2019

Scientists celebrated another success with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft late Wednesday (U.S. time), when the robot explorer accomplished a second pinpoint touch-and-go landing on asteroid Ryugu, this time to collect a sample of pristine dust and rock excavated by an explosive impactor earlier this year.

Hayabusa 2 cleared for second touchdown on asteroid

July 3, 2019

Ground teams have approved plans for Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sample return mission to briefly land on asteroid Ryugu for the second time July 11, aiming for a targeted touch-and-go to gather material exposed by an explosive impactor released by the robot explorer in April.

Japanese probe readies for another possible touch-and-go on asteroid

June 6, 2019

Approaching the one-year anniversary since its arrival at asteroid Ryugu, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft has deployed a target marker near an artificial crater created by an explosive charge in April, a guide post that could help the probe steer toward another pinpoint touchdown to collect a second batch of samples for return to Earth.

Hayabusa 2 locates artificial crater on asteroid

April 29, 2019

New images from Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft show the location of a fresh crater carved from the jagged terrain of asteroid Ryugu by an explosive charge dropped on the tiny world’s rocky surface earlier this month.

Japanese probe lands on asteroid to capture sample

February 22, 2019

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft briefly landed on an asteroid Thursday more than 200 million miles from Earth and fired a bullet to scoop up a rocky sample, successfully accomplishing one of the mission’s most challenging maneuvers before returning the asteroid specimen to scientists on the ground in December 2020.

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.

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