Mission typeAsteroid sample return
COSPAR ID2014-076A
SATCAT no.40319
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass609 kg (1,343 lb)
Dimensions1 × 1.6 × 1.25 m (3.3 × 5.2 × 4.1 ft) (spacecraft core), 6 m × 4.23 m (19.7 ft × 13.9 ft) (solar panel)
Power2.6 kW (at 1 au), 1.4 kW (at 1.4 au)
Start of mission
Launch date3 December 2014, 04:22 UTC[2]
RocketH-IIA 202
Launch siteLA-YTanegashima Space Center
End of mission
Landing dateDecember 2020 (planned)
Landing siteWoomera, Australia
Flyby of Earth
Closest approach3 December 2015
Distance3,090 km (1,920 mi)[3]
(162173) Ryugu orbiter
Orbital insertionJune 27, 2018, 09:35 UTC[4]
Orbital departureDecember 2019 (planned)
← Hayabusa

The location of Hayabusa2 thrusters
A set of 12 thrusters is loaded with the Hayabusa2 spacecraft as circled in red.
Propulsion at 2.9 cm/s in the plus z-axis proceeded for the rendezvous.

Launch of Hayabusa2 spacecraft3 December 2014
Health check of the MASCOT landerJune 2015
Calibration of MASCOT instrumentsSeptember 2015
Earth fly-byDecember 2015
Health check of the MASCOT landerJuly 2016
Calibration of MASCOT instrumentsNovember 2016
Health check of the MASCOT landerMay 2017
Calibration of MASCOT instrumentsNovember 2017
Health check of the MASCOT landerSpring 2018
Hayabusa2 arrives at asteroid27 June 2018 18-month long stay
MASCOT lands on asteroid Ryugu3 October 2018
Hayabusa2 collects samples of the asteroid during a short ground contact (possibly several times)2019
Hayabusa2 to depart from asteroidNovember/December 2019
Hayabusa2 to arrive at Earth Late 2020

Hayabusa2 spacecraft, Specifications/Instruments
Type of mission  Asteroid sample return mission
Launch date3  December 2014, 04:22 UTC
Launch siteYoshinobu Launch Complex, Tanegashima Space Center
RocketH-IIA 202 (Flugnummer F26)
Mission length6 years, return planned for December 2020
Mission control centreJAXA SSOC (Sagamihara Space Operations Center) 
MASCOT control centre
DLR Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC) 
Launch massapprox. 600 kilograms
Key features
Electric Propulsion System (Ion engine)Used for changing orbit during journey to asteroid as well as return to Earth; engine is energy-efficient, with one tenth of power consumption compared to chemical propellant
Sampler mechanism
SMP to collect samples from surface of asteroid. Cylinder-shaped sampler horn will be lowered to surface, shooting out a small projectile once it makes contact with the surface. Materials ejected will then be collected via a catcher
Target markersFive beanbag-type markers will descend to the asteroid's surface to serve as artificial landmarks prior to landing for the distance measurement of teh collision warning syst. The target markers are hollow and filled with a granulate that dampens the kinetic energy and thus prevents them from bouncing from the surface.
Re-entry capsule Container that stores samples from asteroid and will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere at 12 kilometres per second. 
Mission instruments
Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI)Two-kilogram copper lump to collide with surface of asteroid to make an artificial crater, used to study the inside structure of the asteroid before and after impact; will also be used to sample 'fresh' material underground
Near InfraRed Spectrometer (NIRS3) and Thermal Infrared Imager (TIR)
Remote sensing instruments to measure asteroid from Hayabusa2’s 20 kilometre-distance position. NIRS3 will investigate mineral and water metamorphism; TIR to study temperature and thermal inertia of asteroid 
2 small rovers that will study the asteroid from its surface.
Small lander that will study the asteroid using four observation devices and that will hop to three locations on the asteroid

The target: Asteroid (162173) Ryugu (formerly 1999 JU3)
OriginC-class asteroid (carbon-rich), near-Earth asteroid of the Apollo group
DiscoveryMay 1999
DiscovererLINEAR (Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research) Team
ShapeApproximately spherical with the irregularities expected in small bodies (determined by thermal observations.
Diameter880 ± 15 metres
Rotation period7.6 hours
Albedo 0.05 (very low, darker than coal)

MASCOT operation

Rover-1A and Rover-1B are now named “Hibou” (horned own) and “Owl” 

MASCOT separation in 56 m.
Ryugu g=0.11 - 0.15 mm/s2
t=sqrt(2*h/g) =sqrt(2*56/0.00013)=928.191 s = 15.5 min
v= g . t = 0.00013 . 928.191 = 0.1207 m/s

MASCOT will fall from a height of 56 meters 15.5 minutes

The lander successfully separated from the Japanese Hayabusa2 space probe at 03:58 CEST.

MASCOT came to rest on the surface approximately 20 minutes after the separation.

Already during the descent on the asteroid, the camera switched MASCAM on and took 20 pictures, which are now stored on board the Japanese space probe.

MASCOT lander specifications/Instruments 
295 mm x 275 mm x 195 mm
9.6 kilograms
Target asteroid
162173 Ryugu
Mother craft
Wide-angle camera that takes pictures during the descent to the asteroid surface and will provide ground data for the instruments on board Hayabusa2 as well as contextual information for the instruments on board MASCOT. (Institute of Planetary Research, DLR)
MASCOT Radiometer (MARA)
The radiometer is used for the high-resolution determination of the surface temperature as well as the thermal changes during the day-night changes on the asteroid. (Institute of Planetary Research, DLR)
Magnetometer (MAG)
Determination of the asteroid's magnetic field (Institute of Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, TU Braunschweig)
Infrared spectrometer (MicrOmega)
Determination of the mineralogical composition of the asteroid surface. (Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Université Paris Sud)
The drive unit can apply 3 Nm output torque at a cylindrical size of 31 mm diameter with 64 mm length and a weight of 166 g. The PCB power output is 12 V and 4 A nominal.

Hayabusa2 Remote Sensing Instruments:

At the end of the science phase in December 2019,[11] Hayabusa2 will use its ion engines for changing orbit and return to Earth.[39] In December 2020,[11] the re-entry capsule with three separate containers that carry the asteroid samples will be released to re-enter Earth's atmosphere at 12 km/second,[39] while the spacecraft drifts past Earth. The spacecraft's sample capsule will parachute down and land in the Australian desert.[40]

When the spacecraft returns to Earth and delivers the sample capsule in December 2020, it is expected to retain 30 kg of xenon propellant, which can be used to extend its service and flyby new targets to explore.[47] One prime candidate is asteroid 2001 WR1 for a flyby on 27 June 2023.[47]

RokMesiac, deňUdalosťStav
2018January 10Third stage of ion engine operation begins.
(Hayabusa2 will use its ion engine to make adjustments to its course)
June 3Ion engine operation ends.Complete
June 3Start of asteroid approach. (distance: 3,100 km)Complete
June 27Arrival at asteroid Ryugu (altitude 20 km).Complete
July 17 - 25BOX-C operation (July 20, Altitude 6km).Complete
July 31 - August 2Medium altitude observations of Ryugu #1 (Aug. 1, altitude 5 km).Complete
August 5 - 10Operation to measure gravity of Ryugu (altitude 851 m).Complete
August 18 - September 7BOX-B operation (tour observation at altitude 20km)Complete
September 10 - 12Rehearsal 1 for Touchdown 1 (TD1-R1) (Sep. 12, altitude ~600m)Complete
September 19 - 21MINERVA-II-1 Deployment operation(Sep. 21, altitude ~55m)Complete
October 2 -4MASCOT operationComplete
Mid. of OctoberRehearsal 2 for Touchdown 1Complete
JanuaryTouchdown 1
(First landing to gather a sample.)
November - DecemberOperation during solar conjunction
(Communications are disabled during this period, as the Sun is between the Earth and Hayabusa2.)
2019JanuaryMedium altitude observations of Ryugu #2 (altitude 5 km).Planning
FebruaryPeriod for touchdown operation #2Planning
March - AprilCrater generation operation
(Hayabusa2 will drop the explosive small carry-on impactor (SCI) to generate a crater in order to gather subsurface material)
April - MayPeriod for touchdown operation #3Planning
JulyPeriod for rover deployment #2
(Remaining MINERVA-II rovers will be released onto the asteroid surface)
August - NovemberHayabusa2 remains near the asteroidPlanning
November - DecemberDeparture from asteroidPlanning

Time (CEST)Event
MASCOT's 17 hours and 7 minutes on Ryugu
03:57:21At an altitude of 51 metres above asteroid Ryugu, MASCOT is pushed out of the Hayabusa2 supporting frame by means of a spring mechanism behind a push-off plate at about 4 centimetres per second and starts to descend to Ryugu without control of its ground station.
04:03Approximately six minutes later, MASCOT touches down on Ryugu, making contact with a block of rocks about three to four metres high. The Optical Navigation Camera (ONC) from Hayabusa2 records the process in high-resolution images. At the same time, DLR’s MASCAM acquires 20 images of the asteroid during the descent. MASCOT lands on the designated landing site MA-9 (Alice's Wonderland). It is located at about 300 degrees east and 30 degrees south.
Around 04:34
First location
After another approximately. 31 minutes and several contacts with the surface, MASCOT reaches its first resting position. It is asteroid day at the landing site and the surface measurements start.
Around 06:30At the DLR Control Centre in Cologne it is recognised that MASCOT is lying on an unfavourable side and thus cannot carry out its planned experiments. All systems and experiments are operating as intended.
Around 09:20An unscheduled command from the Earth is sent to Hayabusa2 and from there to MASCOT to activate the swing arm to turn the lander into its intended position for the experiments. The command time to Ryugu, which is about 300 million kilometres away, is about 18 minutes one way.
Around 09:52MASCOT has completed its first day-and-night cycle. The second day on Ryugu begins.
Around. 10:30
Second location
The manoeuvre has brought the desired result. MASCOT is in the right position, is now operational and automatically starts to perform its four experiments again.
Around 12:51The second daylight phase on Ryugu is slowly coming to an end, and MASCOT turns with Ryugu into its second asteroid night.
Around 17:28MASCOT’s third day on Ryugu begins.
Around 18:29
Third location
MASCOT successfully executes a mini-move. This manoeuvre was commanded by the operations team in Cologne to optimise the position of the sensors of the experiments. Further scientific investigations are carried out.
Around 20:04 Fourth locationThe last jump is commanded to MASCOT and the lander goes into the End of Life phase. Further scientific investigations are carried out.
21:04It is the end of the third day for MASCOT on Ryugu. In the meantime, more than 16 hours have passed – the lander’s expected maximum battery life. Contrary to the calculations, the battery still provides some power before the contact with MASCOT breaks off by the entry of a radio shadow and the upcoming night. Instead of 16 hours, the experiments were able to work for 17 hours and 7 minutes.

The touchdown 1

The touchdown 2

The 2nd touchdown



2nd target marker

The separation image of the 2nd target marker, TM-C! Separation time: 2019/9/17 at 01:24 JST Altitude: 1km This is an overlay of images taken every 4s (for ~1min) while the spacecraft ascends at 11cm/s. TM descent speed is still almost zero. (JAXA, Chiba Inst. Tech & collab)

MINERVA-II2 (Rover2) separation operation

MINERVA-II2 (Rover2) separation operation

This is MINERVA-II2 captured by the wide-angle optical navigation camera (ONC-W2) immediately after separation. Radio-waves are also being received from MINERVA-II2. (Credit: JAXA










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