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Japan is looking for Hayabusa2 for asteroid landing, Technology


Friday, February 22, 2019 – 6:54 AM

[TOKYO] A Japanese explorer is expected to take a long asteroid on Friday, aiming to blow the "face" bullet to collect clues about the origin of the Earth and the solar system.

Hayabusa2 auditor had arranged to touch local time 8.25am (2325 GMT on Thursday) on the Ryugu asteroid, about 300 million kilometers of Earth, according to officials at the Japan Aerospace Study Agency (JAXA).

If the landing is successful, Hayabusa2 will be a foggy fire in the face of Ryugu to turn a surface issue, which the searcher will then collect to analyze back on Earth.

It is believed that the asteroid contains relatively large amounts of organic matter and water of about 4.6 billion years ago when the solar system was called.

Ultimately, the fire search will be "impaired" to spray material under the Ryugu surface, allowing the collection of "fresh" materials to be waived for thousands of winds and radiation.

Scientists hope that the samples can give answers to some basic questions about life and the universe, including whether elements of space help to cause life on Earth.

"We decided at 6.14am (2114 GMT Thursday) to allow the auditor to go to the autonomous landing process at 6.32am, as he reaches a height of 500 meters," said JAXA spokesman, Azusa Yabe, at AFP.

"This is a final decision to go for a touch," he added.

On Wednesday, as the final preparations were underway, JAXA officials said they were very optimistic that the operation would take place.

"We expect a successful exchange … but the unexpected can happen," said Hayabusa2 mission manager, Makoto Yoshikawa, for reporters.

"We're feeling time," he admitted.

After the hoping landing, the search engine will return to orbit above Ryugu, with further presentations planned for later in the year.


Communication with Hayabusa2 is sometimes broken as its antennae do not always refer to the Earth.

The communication time between the Earth and the auditor means that confirmation of successful exchanges for several hours, probably around 11.00am of local time (0200 GMT) is not expected on Friday.

"We will be able to announce success if we confirm that the search has returned (to a home position above the asteroid), that the search has touched it, and that the fire bullet command is in work, "said senior project manager Takashi Kubota.

But it could take several days to confirm that the bullet was actually fired to allow samples to be collected, Mr Kubota added.

"Touch is essential for collecting samples, so we hope the first success will be swapped here," said Yabe spokesman.

The search engine's washing was originally arranged last year.

But after surveys it was pushed back that the asteroid's picture was more rough than what it was supposed to start, enforcing JAXA to take more time to find a suitable landing site.


Hayabusa2 mission was launched, with a cost price of around 30 billion yen ($ 365.5 million) in December 2014 and intends to return to the Earth with samples in 2020.

Photos of Ryugu – which means a "Palace Palace" in Japanese and refers to a castle at the bottom of the sea in ancient Japanese history – showing a little asteroid shape as a spinning top with a rough surface.

Hayabusa2 observes the asteroid surface with camera and sensing equipment but has also sent two small MINERVA-II mini robots as well as the French-German MASCOT robot to help surface observation.

Scientists already receive data from these crews that are used on the surface of the asteroid.

The MASCOT robot observation of 10kg is loaded with sensors, and can take images in multiple wavelengths, investigate minerals with a microscope, measure surface temperatures and measure magnetic fields.

In terms of large fridge size, Hayabusa2 has solar panels and is the first successor to JAXA's first asteroid, Hayabusa – Japan for a falcon.

That search returned from a smaller asteroid, potato shaped in 2010 with dust samples despite a number of disadvantages during its seven epic year Odyssey and is known as a scientific victory.

"Lessons of what we have experienced in Hayabusa are very useful," said Mr Yoshikawa.


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