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June 18-24, 2018 / Vol 37, No 25 / Hawai`i Island, USA

15 Jun 2018, 20:24 UTC
June 18-24, 2018 / Vol 37, No 25 / Hawai`i Island, USA
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

JAXA Hayabusa2 to Arrive at Ryugu Asteroid for Sample Return Mission
JAXA Hayabusa2 spacecraft is preparing for its rendezvous of C-type asteroid 162173 Ryugu, traveling at 2.2m/sec and now within ~900 km. The planned arrival at a 20-km altitude orbit is around June 27 where Hayabusa2 will descend to 5 km for observations toward the end of July utilizing Near InfraRed Spectrometer 3μm to investigate mineral, water, and chemical elements and a Thermal Infrared Imager to study temperature and thermal radiation. In August, Hayabusa2 is scheduled to descend to 1-km above surface for gravitational observation in preparation of releasing a target marker prior to landing between September to October. One or more of the 3 MINERVA-II rovers and the MASCOT lander may be deployed to gather samples. MASCOT will study the asteroid with 4 devices including MicrOmega hyperspectral infrared microscope, MAG magnetometer, CAM multispectral camera, and MARA radiometer. At approximately 600 kg, Hayabusa2 has two additional operations planned in 2019, including dropping a 2-kg copper liner (carry-on impactor) to create an artificial crater on collision and retrieving underground samples. A scheduled departure from Ryugu at the end of 2019 and re-entry capsule return to Earth at 12km/second in 2020 could ...

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