Japanese interplanetary station “Hayabusa-2” (Hayabusa 2) was launched on 3rd December 2014. Its task is to study the asteroid carbon type Ryugu (1999 JU3). The station has reached the destination on 27 June 2018, and since then, studying the asteroid. Read more about the spacecraft and the scientific goals of this mission can be read here.
The main objective of the mission “Hayabusa-2” – delivery of soil from the surface of the asteroid to Earth. The selection of sample interplanetary station should begin this week. In the event of unforeseen problems, the operation will be rescheduled for March 4-8.
The surface of the Ryuga is covered with large boulders, but because it is not too many places where “Hayabusa-2” can safely get closer to the asteroid. For the probe landing was the selected region L08-E1 (marked in green on the map below). In this place the size of stones no more than 60 cm, however, the difficulty lies in the fact that the plot is very small. In the narrowest place its width is 6 m, which corresponds to the size of the spacecraft. However L08-E1 is only a few metres from the target TM-B, which was dropped on the surface of Ryugu at the end of October. This should greatly facilitate the landing. According to Japanese experts, the “Hayabusa-2” is able to ensure accuracy when landing within 1 meter.
With the end of 2018, “Hayabusa-2” is located at a safe distance of 20 km from the asteroid Ryugu. The beginning of rapprochement is scheduled for 2:00 GMT February 21. It will last one day. The first 10 hours, the descent will occur at a speed of 0.4 m/s. When flight altitude is reduced to 5 km, “Hayabusa-2” will slow down to 0.1 m/s From a height of 45 m and the office will be transferred from lidar, which measures distance to the surface, to the laser range finder is able to detect the irregularities on the surface. At this altitude, the device will produce the capture of the target, and then go down to 8.5 m. After hovering and the final correction of the horizontal position “Hayabusa-2” will land. When landing, the camera will move closer to surface at a slight tilt to avoid collision with rocks. Touch the surface gruntubelem device to be held at 2:15 GMT on 22 February, however the exact time will depend on the conditions of landing.
This planting scheme was drawn up after studying the surface of the Ryuga. Initially when planning the mission, it was assumed that the surface of the asteroid will be much more smooth, and the target will be used only for the correction of spacecraft velocity relative to the asteroid, but not for targeting.
To select the sample of soil suction head (cylinder of length about 1 m) should touch the surface of the asteroid. The spacecraft will release in Ryugu tantalum projectile with a speed of 300 m/s, after which the receiving head suction head will capture rising small stones and dust, sending them into the chamber for storage of samples. This camera is divided into three compartments for the different samples. One of them has a volume of 24 cubic cm, the remaining two – 12 CC
If at any stage the operation fails, the machine will return to a height of 20 km, and the next attempt of sampling of soil will take place in March.
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