Hayabusa-2: Japan's rovers ready for touchdown on asteroid

mosaix

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#1
Japanese rovers set for asteroid touchdown

Two robotic explorers are descending to the surface of an asteroid.

Japan's Hayabusa-2 spacecraft despatched a pair of "rovers" to the 1km-wide space rock known as Ryugu.

If all goes well, Hayabusa-2 will be the first spacecraft to successfully place robot rovers on the surface of an asteroid.

Rover 1A and Rover 1B will move around by hopping in Ryugu's low gravity; they will capture images of the surface and measure temperatures.


Fingers crossed it all goes well.
 

Vertigo

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The idea of 'hopping' on such a small body strikes me as pretty scary. But then again I'm sure it's that low gravity that means a hop will require only tiny amounts of energy.
 

Vertigo

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I gather the mother ship (I think) is going to fire a 2kg copper pellet at the surface to try and blow out material from beneath the surface that can then be collected and brought back to Earth. The reason for the elaborate plan, rather than just scooping some stuff off the surface, is that they are after more primitive material that has not been exposed to the sun, solar wind etc. and so should be pretty much solar system origin material.
 

Parson

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#8
This is remarkable science and technology. I'm amazed at what's come to be possible in my lifetime. --- Oldster that I am.
 
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Brian G Turner Science & Nature 16

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