Hayabusa-2 is preparing to collect samples of the asteroid Ryugu

Hayabusa-2 is preparing to collect samples of the asteroid Ryugu

This view of the asteroid Ryugu was obtained by the ONC-T apparatus of Hayabus-2 on October 15, 2018 from a height of 42 m. The resolution reaches 4.6 mm per pixel (the highest for Hayabus-2)

The Japanese agency JAXA is preparing the Hayabusa-2 spacecraft for the extraction of samples from the target asteroid Ryugu. Last month, we managed to successfully deploy two rovers and a landing module. Now the focus of the mission is the successful receipt and delivery of the sample to Earth.

Members of the mission team have to take into account the not quite flat surface of the asteroid, therefore, the proposed landing site includes areas with a diameter of 100 m with an average inclination of less than 30 degrees, stones up to 50 cm tall and with an absolute temperature of 97 ° C. This limited the choice to the region at plus / minus 30 degrees from the equator. The task also included the search for a scientifically significant location that would fit into the engineering constraints. The hardest thing is to find the area where the stones will reach a height of less than 50 cm with a diameter of 100 m. The absence of powdered fine-grained regolith on the asteroid Ryugu makes it difficult to extract a sample that is delivered to Earth.

Scientists carefully analyze the regolith with an emphasis on the photometric and spectral characteristics of the surface. The main focus was devoted to surface mapping, combining geological features with topographic properties. Today's goal is to choose the best place for a safe landing.

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