Japan delays touchdown of Hayabusa2 probe by THREE months

Mail Online | 5/24/2019 | Peter Lloyd for MailOnline
smnth28 (Posted by) Level 3
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A Japanese probe sent to examine an asteroid will now land several months later than planned, officials have confirmed.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) says the high-profile Hayabusa2 is expected to touch down on Ryugu at least three months behind schedule.

January - Opportunity - End - Month - Time-frame

Specifically, they cite 'late January' as the earliest possible opportunity, rather than the end of this month - which was the original time-frame.

JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda said they needed more time to prepare the landing as data showed the asteroid surface was more rugged than expected.

Mission - Rocks - Tsuda - Operation

'The mission is to land without hitting rocks,' Tsuda said, adding this was a 'most difficult' operation.

'We had expected the surface would be smooth... but it seems there's no flat area.'

Scientists - Data - Machines - Surface - Asteroid

Scientists are already receiving data from other machines deployed on the surface of the asteroid.

Last week, JAXA successfully landed a new 22lbs (10kg) observation robot known as MASCOT - 'Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout - on the space rock.

Sensors - Robot - Images - Wavelengths - Minerals

Loaded with sensors, the robot can take images at multiple wavelengths, investigate minerals with a microscope, gauge surface temperatures and measure magnetic fields.

Ten days earlier, a pair of MINERVA-II micro-rovers were dropped onto the asteroid -- marking the first time...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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