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Where is the Hayabusa2 Spacecraft right now?
The app above shows you where the Hayabusa2 Spacecraft is today, right this moment, in an interactive animation. It also shows the position of Ryugu, the asteroid that Hayabusais studying and from which samples will be taken and returned to earth.
You can wind the animation backwards in time to watch its launch (2013). Currently the data supplied by NASA does not yet show the return journey and so the animation shows Hayabusa2 staying Ryugu. Howerver when data becomes available we will shothe return journey to earth. The 2D/3D button shows planets, asteroids and Hayabusa2 on "3D" stalks to represent the distance above or below the plane of the ecliptic.
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21st January 2019 - Ryugu Surface Features Named
Trinitas and Alice’s Wonderland are nicknames of the MINERVA-II1 and MASCOT landing sites, respectively, and not place names recognized by the IAU. (Image credit:JAXA ?2)
The surface features of Ryugu have now been officially named... The first step in naming a place on a celestial body in the Solar System is to decide on a theme, and have that theme accepted by the IAU. For example, the theme for places on Venus is the “names of goddesses”. During discussions between the domestic and overseas project members, suggestions such as “names of castles around the world”, “word for ‘dragon’ in different languages” and the “names of deep-sea creatures” were proposed for the place name theme on Ryugu. After an intense debate, the theme was selected to be “names that appear in stories for children” and a theme proposal was put to the IAU WG. The proposal was accepted on September 25th 2018. Discussions then moved onto selecting the topographical features to be named and the choice of name.
Since the asteroid name “Ryugu” comes from the Japanese fairy tale of Taro Urashima, many of the names chosen come from the same, or other Japanese stories. Westerners may recognise Cendrillon (French for Cinderella) being used for one of the biggest craters outside the equatorial ridge. For an in depth duscussion on the naming process and list of meanings, see this article
25th October 2018 - Hayabusa2 Buzzes the asteroid Ryugu
(Image credit: JAXA)
In rehearsal for it's touch-down on Ryugu, Hayabusa2 films a close approach. Article.
Ryugu surface has many small pebbles
Close up view of the surface of Ryugu(Image credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST)
This image shows the surface of Ryugu photographed on October 15 at 22:40 JST using the Optical Navigation Camera – Telescopic (ONC-T). The altitude here is about 42m. Article.
3rd October 2018 - MASCOT lands on Ryugu.
Credit: Hayabusa2 project, JAXA, University of Tokyo & collaborators.
The small asteroid lander, MASCOT, that was developed in Germany and France, was successfully separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft on October 3 and delivered safely to the surface of Ryugu. After landing, MASCOT acquired scientific data on the asteroid surface, which was transmitted to the MASCOT team via the spacecraft. Scientific analysis of this data is expected to be performed by the MASCOT team from now onwards. Article
21st September 2018, Hayabusa's Rovers successfully descend to the surface and begin hopping about.
Illustration of Rover-1A (back) and Rover-1B (foreground) from MINERVA-II1 as they explore the surface of Ryugu. (Image credit: JAXA)
Image captured by Rover-1A on September 22 at around 11:44 JST. Color image captured while moving (during a hop) on the surface of Ryugu. The left-half of the image is the asteroid surface. The bright white region is due to sunlight. (Image credit: JAXA).
Hayabusa 2's MINERVA-II1 rovers were deployed on September 21 to explore the surface of asteroid Ryugu. They successfully hopped about taking images and even some video from the surface of Ryugu. Article.
20 July 2018 - Close up of Asteroid Ryugu
Asteroid Ryugu from an altitude of 6km. Image was captured with the Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic (ONC-T) on July 20, 2018 at around 16:00 JST. Image credit ?: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST.
Hayabusa2 arrived at asteroid Ryugu on June 27, after which the spacecraft remained at a distance of about 20km (the Home Position) to continue to observe the asteroid. During this time, the spacecraft was maintaining a hovering altitude of 20km above the asteroid surface. In the week of July 16, operations were begun to lower this hovering altitude, eventually bringing the spacecraft to less than 6km from the asteroid surface.
The resolution corresponds to about 60cm per pixel. The largest crater on the surface of Ryugu is situated near the center of the image. You can also see that the surface of Ryugu is covered with a large number of boulders. This picture will provide important information as the team choose the landing site. Full Article (on the official, but non-SSL, Hayabusa2 site).
10 july 2018 - 3D movie of Ryugu released
Asteroid Ryugu (designation number 162173) is a 'spinning top' -type asteroid which was not predicted before the recent images captured by Hayabusa2. A global image of the asteroid as it rotates is shown below as a 3D animation.
Animation of the stereoscopic global image of asteroid Ryugu. When viewed through red / blue glasses (blue filter over the right eye), the asteroid should look three-dimensional. The images were captured with the Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic (ONC-T), photographed on June 23, 2018. Image credit ?: JAXA, University of Aizu, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University and AIST.
These animations show the result of sequential images of asteroid Ryugu taken with the ONC-T (Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic) during the final approach to Ryugu on June 23, 2018. Images were captured at approximately 10 degrees increments as the asteroid rotates. The distance from the spacecraft to Ryugu at this time was about 40 km.
If you assemble red-blue glasses (placing the blue filter over your right eye) and look at these figures, Ryugu should appear three dimensional. The overall shape of Ryugu and the undulations of the craters and boulders become very clear.
June 2018 - Hayabusa2 Arrives at Ryugu
Asteroid Ryugu imaged with the ONC-T. The photograph was taken on June 26, 2018 at around 12:50 JST. Image credit ?: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST.
Ryugu is about 1km in diameter and shaped like a spinning top with sides that slope from a wide equator to the poles. Its colouring is shown as a light grey in these images but in reality the asteroid is a much darker shade of grey than shown in these enhanced images. Full Article (on the official, but non-SSL, Hayabusa2 site).
Hayabusa2 Sample Retreival Mission to Asteroid Ryugu
By Go Miyazaki [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Hayabusa2 is an asteroid sample-return mission operated by the Japanese space agency, JAXA. It follows on from the earlier and mostly successful spacecraft "Hayabusa" that returned a sample from asteroid 25143 Itokawa, but addresses weak points identified in that mission.
Hayabusa2 was launched on 3 December 2014 and rendezvoused at near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu on 27 June 2018. It is intended to survey the asteroid for a year and a half, depart in December 2019, and return to Earth in December 2020.
Hayabusa2 carries multiple payloads for science: remote sensing, sampling, and lander/rovers—four small probes that will investigate the asteroid surface.
Videos on Hayabasu2
Hayabasu2 Overview by Scott Manley
A nice overview of the Hayabasu2 mission.
Deep Sample Collection
This animation shows how Hayabusa2 will attempt to get a sample from deeper in the asteroid by dropping a camera, and then dropping an explosive penetrating charge. The spacecraft will then hide behind the asteroid whilst the charge is detonated before returning to the crater and dropping another camera before retreiving a sample. All-in-all a very ambitious process which we hope will go like clockwork.
Hayabasu2 Mission - with focus on MASCOT Lander
A great animation focussing on the German made MASCOT rover.
Hayabasu2 Remote Sensors
An overview of all the remote sensors.
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