Hayabusa2 image taken at an altitude of about 155 feet (47 meters), captured on
October 15, 2018. Red circle marks the candidate touchdown site, L08-B.
Credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo,
Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya
University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji
University, Aizu University, (AIST).

Excitement is building as the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2 mission reaches a new exploration phase of the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu.

A third rehearsal for the first asteroid touchdown of the spacecraft (TD1-R3) is now underway, being held from October 23-25.

Credit: JAXA

Rehearsal aim

The aim of this third rehearsal for touchdown is to confirm the accuracy of the navigation guidance control at low altitude by the following steps:

  • Use the measured Laser Range Finder (LRF) value to control the spacecraft.
  • If conditions are satisfactory, release a target marker.
  • Track released target marker.

Credit: JAXA

 

 

Never before in the history of space has a body of the Solar System been explored in this way.

Ryugu is a C-type asteroid – a carbon-rich representative of the oldest bodies of the four-and-a-half-billion year-old Solar System.

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