Hayabusa 2 approached Ryugu at 850 m!

Hayabusa 2 approached Ryugu at 850 m!
Hayabusa 2 approached Ryugu at 850 m!

Ever closer, the Japanese space probe Hayabusa 2 "dares" approach the asteroid (162173) Ryugu, which it had reached in late June - but the trips to its immediate surroundings are always short visits. By far the narrowest was ventured last night, when Hayabusa 2 dropped in a sense: without resistance from its control jets, the probe, steered up to 6 km, could be pulled from the asteroid's gravitational field to measure it before stopping at 851 meters and reversed by engine ignition.

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But then they renounced maneuver again, until 5 km distance were reached again: Also during the ascent further data on the gravitational field were measured. The standard parking position of Hayabusa 2 is since June 27th at a distance of 20 km ("BOX-A"): Before the excursion until very close to the 6./7. August, the probe had already on 20./21. July for first close-ups at 6 km approximated ("BOX-C") and on 1 August again at 5 km. She then remained there for a whole Ryugu rotation for a "Medium Altitude Observation": the first critical maneuver of the mission near the asteroid, which has now been followed by gravity in second fall. The tension in the control room was both times great, but everything went according to plan.

After arriving at the Asteroid on June 27, it had become quite quiet about the mission, except for brief weekly reports, but the recently redesigned news page in English is now filled and documented again - with lots of pictures of the wide-angle navigation camera during the medium Altitude Observation and the Gravity Measurement Operation - the progress of the adventure, which will culminate in various direct contacts. Exemplary in both maneuvers was also the quasi-live coverage on Twitter - where it was also to learn that due to a approaching Japan typhoon, the next maneuver of Hayabusa 2 is postponed.

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