A Japanese probe studying an asteroid, in order to understand the early history of the solar system, will land several months later than planned. The Japanese agency JAXA reported that the probe Hayabusa-2 is likely to touch the asteroid Ryugu at the end of January. The team needs more time to prepare the landing because the latest data indicates that the surface was more uneven than it was believed.
Scientists get information from other devices deployed on Ryugu asteroid
It was expected that the surface layer would be smoother, but so far it is not possible to find a flat area. Scientists receive data from other machines deployed on the surface of the asteroid. Last week, we managed to successfully lower the 10-kilogram MASCOT robot. With the help of sensors and scientific tools, he is able to take pictures, study minerals, determine the surface temperature and measure the magnetic field. 10 days ago they also dropped a pair of MINERVA-II robots.
The asteroid's surface was more uneven than previously thought.
These rovers use low Ryugu gravity to jump across the surface at a distance of 15 meters and hang at a height of 15 minutes, which allows us to study the physical characteristics of the asteroid using cameras and sensors.
Hayabusa-2 in size resembles a small refrigerator and is equipped with solar panels. This is the receiver of the first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa, who in 2010 visited another asteroid.
The cost of the Hayabusa-2 mission cost $ 260 million and was launched in December 2014. In 2020, she should return to Earth with samples.