Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe has got the horn for space rock Ryugu – a sampling horn, that is

www.theregister.co.uk | 2/22/2019 | Staff
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Click For Photo: https://regmedia.co.uk/2019/02/22/hayabusa_2_landing.jpg







Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe has successfully collected a sample from the surface of asteroid Ryugu following a careful descent last night.

It was all a bit tense as the probe dropped toward the asteroid, with a loss of telemetry leaving boffins listening for changes in doppler data to indicate that the milestones were ticking over.

Telemetry - UTC - JAXA - Everything - UTC

Once telemetry had been restored as planned at 23:07 UTC, JAXA was able to confirm that everything was hunky-dory by 23:42 UTC.

The news was delivered by the Project Manager and, according to JAXA, "everyone clapped again". The spacecraft has since returned to its home position, above the asteroid.

Operation - Part - Load - Science - Spacecraft

The operation is part of an ambitious load of science being conducted by the spacecraft, which has already dropped the MINERVA-II robots to bimble about on the surface as well as the MASCOT lander.

Yesterday the probe collected samples from the surface with the Sampler Mechanism (SMP), which has the same basic design as that flown on the earlier Hayabusa mission. The system requires the probe touch down on the surface, sampling "horn" end first. When the cylindrical horn detects the surface, a small, bullet-like projectile is fired at the asteroid to kick up some dust.

Material

The material is then collected...
(Excerpt) Read more at: www.theregister.co.uk
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