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Japan's Hayabusa2 Successfully Drops Target Markers on Asteroid Ryugu: Details Inside

The Hayabusa2 Mission Of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Has Been Studying An Asteroid Dubbed As Ryugu For More Than A Year. Recently, Japan’s Hayabusa2 Probe Has Practiced Yet Another Important Task Before Heading Home. Yes, You Read It Right.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Anurag Singh | Updated on: 20 Sep 2019, 09:11:34 AM
Japan's Hayabusa2 studying asteroid Ryugu (Photo Credit: Twitter/@haya2e_jaxa)

New Delhi:

In last three months, Earth had close encounters with many giant asteroids. In fact, a pair of supergiant asteroids (space rocks) identified as 2000 QW7 and 2010 CO1 zip past the Earth last week. During their closest approach, asteroid 2000 QW7 and 2010 CO1 were just 0.035428 astronomical units(AU). We were fortunate that the two space rocks failed to collide with the Earth. Well, the researchers, scientists and astronomers of different space agencies across the world are trying to unearth the mystery of the asteroids i.e. origination, material space rock is made of etc. The Hayabusa2 mission of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been studying an asteroid dubbed as Ryugu for more than a year. Recently, Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe has practiced yet another important task before heading home. Yes, you read it right.  

Hayabusa 2 arrived at Ryugu on 27 June 2018 and since then it has released three small rovers to the surface and performed two touchdowns to collect surface material. For the past one year, the Hayabusa2 mission captured incredible images and snagged samples of the rock. But Hayabusa2 has one more rover on board, dubbed MINERVA-II2.  

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Before MINERVA-II2, the main rover was deployed, the team of scientists belong to JAXA wanted to put the vehicle through its paces one more time. According to a report of, the rehearsal which took place on September 16. During the rehearsal, the JAXA sent two target markers toward the asteroid. 

According to JAXA, each target marker is a reflective ball that's about 4 inches across and filled with smaller balls — like a high-tech beanbag. By tracking their descent, the scientists of JAXA can deduce the precise gravitational field that the asteroid generates, which reveals its internal structure.  

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Soon after the deployment of its final onboard lander in October, the spacecraft will return to Earth. Due to arrive in December 2020, Hayabusa 2 will release a capsule containing the asteroid samples it has collected. This capsule will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and use parachutes to land in Australia.

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First Published : 20 Sep 2019, 09:11:34 AM