Hayabusa2 Probe Captures Dust From an Asteroid


Mar 3, 2018
Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency just confirmed that a probe sent from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft has successfully touched down on the surface of an asteroid. But unlike the previous bouncing probes that landed on Ryugu, this one fired a "bullet" into the asteroid's surface to collect some dust that, if everything goes according to plan, should return to Earth in a couple of years. The Japanese space agency posted a writeup on the probe's landing site yesterday, and Queen guitarist Brain May even showed on their live stream, which you can see here.

Our original schedule planned for touchdown in late October of last year (2018). However, Ryugu was revealed as a boulder strewn landscape that extended across the entire surface, with no flat or wide-open regions. Before arriving at Ryugu, it was assumed there would be flat areas around 100 meters in size. But far than finding this, we have not even seen flat planes 30 meters across! During the scheduled time for touchdown in late October, we did not touchdown but descended and dropped a target marker near the intended landing site. We were able to drop the target marker in almost the planned spot and afterwards we examined the vicinity of the target marker landing site in detail. Finally, the area denoted L08-E1 was selected as the place for touchdown. L08-E1 will be described later (see Figure 11), but the final area where the touchdown is planned is a region of radius 3m within L08-E1 as shown in Figure 1.
Is it me, or does Brian May look like a crazy 17th Century Noble with that hairstyle of his?
I would normally say space is the final frontier but its made in a Hollywood basement, but maybe in this case it was made in Studio Ghibli's basement.