The Japanese Hayabusa-2 interplanetary probe February 22will attempt to land on the surface of a 900-meter asteroid Ryugu, in which he has been since June last year. Reported by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Initially it was assumed that the device would land last October, but later it turned out that the chosen place was not suitable for this - the surface was covered with too sharp and high stones.
As a result of a more thorough check, JAXA experts chose a new place where they could successfully land a probe on an asteroid to collect samples of its soil and conduct experiments.
“The landing point and landing path have already been determined. We will try not to make any mistakes, ”commented the decision of the head of the mission“ Hayabusa-2 ”Yuichi Tsuda.
Hayabusa-2 mission worth 30 billion yen(260 million dollars) was launched to the asteroid Ryugu in December 2014. On June 28, 2018, the probe came close to its target. In September, the first in the history of successful soft landing on the surface of the spacecraft - bouncing landing module-robots Rover-1A and Rover-1B, aboard the probe. Another successful landing on Ryugu occurred in October. The probe landed on the surface of the asteroid 10-kilogram module MASCOT, developed by the German Aerospace Center. The device, equipped with various scientific equipment, worked only 17 hours, but successfully completed the planned studies of the composition of the soil and the properties of the asteroid, transferring this data to the orbital probe.
Scientists hope to find traces of water on the asteroid andorganic matter, which is believed to help in solving the mystery of the spread of life in the universe. In total, the probe must make three landings on the asteroid, after which it will return to Earth by 2020.
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