Home / Science / Japanese asteroid probe that makes final approach – News – NHK WORLD

Japanese asteroid probe that makes final approach – News – NHK WORLD



Japan's national space agency says its probe, "Hayabusa2", will reach the orbit of asteroid Ryugu in just a few days.

On Saturday, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, invited journalists to see how it works. Scientists determine the exact location of the probe.

Scientists at a research center near Tokyo are using antennas in Japan, the United States and Australia to receive signals from the probe, which is about 300 million kilometers from Earth.

They say that Hayabusa2 is about 30 kilometers from the asteroid. They are trying to bring the probe closer 10 kilometers, so they can put it in the orbit of the asteroid.

The images taken by the probe show that the asteroid, which is 900 meters in diameter, points to its poles and has what looks like a mountain range near its equator.

They also show a dent that looks like a crater and what appears to be a huge rock. The dent is about 200 meters in diameter. JAXA researchers say the crater near the equator may be a good landing spot for the probe.

The probe was launched in late 2014 to travel to the asteroid and shed light on the origin and evolution of the solar system, as well as life.

.


Source link