Japanese Hayabusa2 spacecraft will now explorer asteroid, as the space explorer arrived at a weird shaped space rock, on Wednesday.
The spacecraft, after its journey of 3½ years, is now going to start its real work of endeavoring to blow the crater, in order to collect samples to bring them back to the Earth, eventually. The Japan Space Exploration Agency reported that, base of the unmanned spacecraft – Hayabusa2, has reached at nearly 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the space rock, and about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth.
Throughout the next 18 months, the spacecraft will aim at three brief touch-and-go landings to obtain the samples. The recovery and the return journey will be successful, the asteroid samples may give intimations to the origin of life on Earth and the solar system.
Yuichi Tsuda, Project Manager said in a statement through an online post, “The rotation axis of the asteroid is perpendicular to the orbit. This fact increases the degrees of freedom for landing and the rover decent operations. There is also a peak in the vicinity of the equator and a number of large craters, which makes the selection of the landing points both interesting and difficult.”
It’s a testing mission, for which the robotic explorer will reside at the place for about two months, in the search of proper landing places of the uneven rock surface.
“We therefore need a detailed investigation of these properties to formulate our future operation plans,” Tsuda added in the statement.