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Hayabusa 2 Mission of JAXA

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    28th Mar, 2019
  • Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft will follow up last month’s touchdown on a distant asteroid with another risky mission — dropping an explosive on the asteroid to make a crater and then collect underground samples for possible clues to the origin of the solar system.
  • Hayabusa2 made history on 22 February when it successfully touched down on the boulder-strewn asteroid and collected some surface fragments.

Context

  • Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft will follow up last month’s touchdown on a distant asteroid with another risky mission — dropping an explosive on the asteroid to make a crater and then collect underground samples for possible clues to the origin of the solar system.
  • Hayabusa2 made history on 22 February when it successfully touched down on the boulder-strewn asteroid and collected some surface fragments.

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  • Hayabusa2 is to drop a copper impactor the size of a baseball and weighing 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) on the asteroid on April 5 to collect samples from deeper underground where they had not been exposed to the sun or space rays.
  • The new mission will require an immediate evacuation of the spacecraft to the other side of the asteroid so it won't get hit by flying shards from the blast.
  • While moving away, Hayabusa2 will leave a camera to capture the outcome.
  • The mission will allow JAXA scientists to analyze details of a crater to find out the history of the asteroid.
  • Hayabusa2 will start descending toward the asteroid the day before to carry out the mission from its home position of 20 kilometers (12 miles) above.
  • It will drop a cone-shaped piece of equipment containing explosives that will blast off a copper plate on the bottom.
  • It will turn into a ball and slam into the asteroid at the speed of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) per second.

What is Hayabusa 2 Mission?

  • Hayabusa2 is an asteroid Hyugu sample-return mission operated by the Japanese space agency, JAXA.
  • It follows on from Hayabusa mission which returned asteroid samples in 2010.
  • It was launched in December 2014 and rendezvoused with near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu in June 2018.
  • It is in the process of surveying the asteroid for a year and a half, departing in December 2019, and returning to Earth in December 2020.
  • Hayabusa2 carries multiple science payloads for remote sensing, sampling, and four small rovers that will investigate the asteroid surface to inform the environmental and geological context of the samples collected.

                                          Asteroid 162173 Ryugu

    • It is a primitive carbonaceous near-Earth asteroid.
    • Carbonaceous asteroids are expected to preserve the most pristine materials in the Solar System, a mixture of minerals, ice, and organic compounds that interact with each other.
    • It is expected to provide additional knowledge on the origin and evolution of the inner planets and, in particular, the origin of water and organic compounds on Earth, all relevant to the origin of life on Earth.

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