The Hayabusa-2 spacecraft, after nearly four years of travel, reached its destination, the Ryugu asteroid. Now the probe is located at a distance of about 20 kilometers from the celestial body, from this moment begins a scientific program to study the asteroid, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The Hayabusa-2 automatic station was launched into space on December 3, 2014. Its main task – the delivery of soil samples from the asteroid 162173 Ryugu , which belongs to the most common type asteroids – the class . The study of the chemical properties of its substance will allow scientists to judge the composition of the protosolar nebula .
As reported by Japanese experts, the engines of the device are working normally, which allows you to keep a constant distance of 20 kilometers from the asteroid. “Hayabusa” will investigate the Ryuga from the orbit for about a year and a half, then it will lower the MASCOT module (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) onto its surface, on which a spectrometer, a magnetometer, a radiometer and a camera are installed.
It is assumed that when approaching the Ryuga, the device will fire on the surface of the SCI device (Small Carry-on Impactor), consisting of a copper shell and an explosive charge, thereby enabling researchers to study the composition of the upper layer of the asteroid soil. After taking a sample of soil from the surface of Rigu station will go back to Earth and drop the capsule with the substance of the asteroid in December 2020.Earlier, we talked about where an asteroid-exile was found in the solar system , how an immigrant asteroid settled in Jupiter’s orbit and how the “blanket” of organic substances protected the interstellar asteroid from the Sun.