The probe "Hayabusa-2" began rapprochement with the asteroid Ryugu
The Japanese probe Hayabusa-2 successfully completed the last series of maneuvers and overclocking procedures, which brought it to the "finish line" on the way to the Ryugu asteroid.
His study will begin in the coming weeks, reports the site JAXA.
"The last, third phase of the Hayabusa-2 acceleration was completed this weekend - the engines worked for 2426 hours and dispersed the apparatus at 393 meters per second.When the probe approaches the asteroid, we will determine their exact position using radio and optical navigation systems" , - representatives of the agency noted.
The probe "Hayabusa-2", whose purpose is to study and take samples from the asteroid Ryugu, was launched into space in early December 2014. He will return to the ground the first 100% "pure" samples of the primary matter of the solar system.
The predecessor of the device, the probe Hayabusa, was launched into space in May 2003. This is the only spacecraft that landed and took off from the surface of the cosmic body outside the Earth-Moon system. In 2005, he landed on the asteroid Itokawa, but because of malfunctions, the taking of soil samples was not in accordance with the plan.
His heir, as JAXA experts expect, will return to Earth in late 2020, if all the procedures for the removal of soil are going according to plan, and the capsule with samples of matter will not be damaged when landing on the surface of our planet.
Ground picking, in spite of the fact that Hayabusa-2 has already reached Ryugu, will not happen soon. First, the probe must determine its exact orbit and correct it, if necessary, and then comprehensively study the structure of the earth's interior and the relief of the asteroid.
Only after this, the interplanetary station will approach the surface of Ryugu and drop a kind of "burst" on it, which will expose and throw out the untouched material from the bowels of the asteroid. "Hayabusa-2" will collect this dust and shingle, levitating in a vacuum, during the second span above this point.
After the completion of the "mining works", the Japanese probe will lower the mobile MASCOT device, created by the specialists of the Space Agency of Germany, DLR, to the surface of the asteroid.
This micro-rover will study the structure of the asteroid's interior for approximately two "days" and observe the surrounding magnetic fields using "Hayabusu-2" as a system of communication with the Earth. In total, scientists expect to receive about 16 hours of asteroid "video" if the MASCOT batteries do not fail.