Spacecraft "Hayabusa-2", which isThe moment is near the asteroid Ryugu, faced with a problem in preparation for the second operation to collect the soil. At the beginning of April 2019, he conducted a successful bombardment and created a large crater on the surface of the object. From 14 to 16 May, he had to reset the target designator over the area of the excavation in order to keep the apparatus above the right place, but he did not succeed.
Initially, everything went according to plan - the probe successfully startedapproach the surface of the asteroid. It was expected that the marker would be dropped from a 10-meter height from the surface of the asteroid, but when the station was at a distance of 50 meters, the descent was suddenly stopped in automatic mode. Subsequently, the station began to return to its former 20-kilometer orbit, and the marker remained with it.
The cause of the failure is still unknown, but the researcherscarefully study the telemetry data. There are several assumptions about the cause of the failure: firstly, due to the low reflectivity of the asteroid, the station's lidar could lose control over the distance to the object. Secondly, the object is gradually heated by the sun, and the unit could fail due to an increase in temperature.
Anyway, just because of the increasetemperature “Hayabusa-2” very soon will not be able to stay near the asteroid. In general, the device has only one and a half months to collect the soil - otherwise, scientists will have to be content with the samples collected during the first attempt. Recall that they intend to find rock samples that have not been subjected to any impacts since the time of the formation of the solar system.
You can discuss the problem with the probe in the comments, or in our Telegram-chat.