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Hayabusa 2 and 1999 JU3

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  • Hayabusa 2 and 1999 JU3

    With Hayabusa 2's launch only six weeks away, this is a thread for that launch. Though it'll probably lay dormant for a couple years while Hayabusa cruises around space ;)

    Official JAXA Hayabusa 2 site with launch countdown:

    JAXA | Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2"

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Pictures of the three microsatellites being launched with Hayabusa 2 can be found here.

    Procyon, the largest among the three, will fly by another near-earth asteroid. It will initially use the same heliocentric orbital trajectory as Hayabusa 2, but will then use its propulsion system to fall back towards Earth (flyby around end of 2015) and use a gravity assist from Earth to approach its target asteroid on a near-ballistic flyby path. The specific target asteroid will be decided upon before the Earth flyby, with the asteroid flyby occuring during 2016.
    The target asteroid can be located anywhere between 0.9 and 1.5 AU from the sun and within +- 8.5 incliniation from Earth's plane of orbit, which limits the target selection somewhat. The selection is further limited by the fact that Procyon may not impact Mars after the flyby due to planetary protection protocols. In case the propulsion system fails to make the Earth flyby - Procyon is mostly an engineering test vehicle - the probe will instead attempt to directly approach a near-earth asteroid. Current possible candidates include 2000 DP107, 2010 LJ14 and 2002 AJ29. These are small asteroids in the 500-1000 meter diameter range. The flyby would occur at around 10 km distance, 30 km in the non-gravity-assist scenario.

    At 65 kg weight, Procyon is mostly a study in how small one can design an interplanetary spacecraft involved in NEA exploration.


    • #3
      MASCOT, Philae's little brother, was installed onboard Hayabusa-2 last week:

      (Image credit: DLR)

      MASCOT will be the first lander actually deploying on the surface of an asteroid and conducting science there - even if only for a brief 12-16 hours. All previous missions to asteroids - and all planned missions until the landing in 2018 - have only involved "touch-and-go" sample retrieval without landing, or, in one case, landing without carrying instruments for surface science.

      Like Philae, MASCOT can turn in place to optimize its position. Unlike Philae, it is also capable of hopping across the surface, with at least two site changes planned during operations.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        Launch postponed by minimum one day due to icy particles in clouds over launch site (read: incoming hailstorm).


        • #5
          Launch went successful yesterday.


          • #6
            Commissioning tests of the ion engines onboard went successful at the end of the year.


            • #7
              According to Japanese newspapers, JAXA has apparently chosen (185851) 2000 DP107 as the target for Procyon. 2000 DP107 is a binary asteroid consisting of a 800m diameter primary and a 300m diameter secondary.


              • #8
                Just as an update:

                Procyon's ion engine failed in May. The assumed failure lays in a small piece that hit it or flaked off and is wedged inbetween the two accelerator grids, thus electrically shortening the thruster. Procyon is still active, and will still fly by Earth in December.

                Hayabusa 2 is still en-route to its own target. There's currently a JAXA public campaign to rename asteroid 1999 JU3. Names can be proposed here until August 31st.


                • #9
                  1999 JU3 has been named "Ryugu" by JAXA.


                  • #10
                    Animated gif of the Earth passing by Hayabusa 2 during its flyby in December:

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                    Larger version here.


                    • #11
                      JAXA is now developing the second asteroid sample return mission “Hayabusa 2.”it aims at a round trip mission to the C-type asteroid 1999 JU3.


                      • #12

                        Hayabusa 2 spotted its target, Ryugu aka 1999JU3, with its own navigational camera in late February at a distance of 1.3 million km.

                        Right now (Apr 18th JST) Hayabusa 2 is only 280,000 km from Ryugu, although it should still take another ~8 weeks to approach and move into orbit. MASCOT, the German-French lander carried by it, will be dropped in October. Samples are planned to be taken by Hayabusa 2 next year.

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                        The reference object marked HIP1535 is a star, not another asteroid.


                        • #13
                          Mission Schedule:


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                          If you're wondering about the "one or more" MINERVAs mentioned: Basically, that's them being unclear about whether MINERVA-II-1 (two rovers, ea. 1.2 kg) or MINERVA-II-2 (one rover, 1.6 kg) will be deployed in which approach. All three rovers carry a stereo camera and temperature sensors.

                          The three "touchdown operations" are to get samples from multiple sites and with multiple methods. There are three sample containers to fill, hence three touchdowns planned.

                          At each touchdown, for better navigation, Hayabusa will drop a target marker - a beanbag-like sphere made of laser-reflective material, so it knows where exactly the surface is; Hayabusa carries a total of five target markers for this. During the first and second touchdown Hayabusa will fire a 154-grain Tantalum projectile from a rifle on the craft itself point-blank against the rock to losen up material from the surface to suck in. During the third touchdown Hayabusa will first deploy SCI, a freeflying platform that fires an explosively-formed penetrator into the rock from 100m away to create a 4m wide crater. Hayabusa 2 will move to safety during this (placing the asteroid between itself and SCI), while a freeflying camera - DCAM3 - will observe the attack up close. Hayabusa will then move in to scoop up loosened subsurface material.

                          Test firing for SCI, from 100m distance (note: may want to turn down volume).
                          Last edited by kato; 12 May 18,, 13:11.


                          • #14
                            Live transmission data from Hayabusa 2, similar to DSN now:


                            • #15
                              Completion of forward cruise ion engine operation: Ion engine operation to the asteroid is now over. From now on, we enter the final approach phase to asteroid Ryugu. (June 4, 2018)