December 5, 2020

Japanese asteroid sampling mission on course for return to Earth

December 5, 2020

Six years after departing Earth, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft released a spinning capsule Saturday containing pristine asteroid material for a scorching re-entry and landing in the remote Australian outback, where teams are standing by to retrieve the specimens for analysis.

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.

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