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Japan’s Hayabusa-2 Spacecraft Successfully Takes Asteroid Sample!

The photos in this sequence show hardware and current sampling work, in the order listed:

Photo 1 reveals the scale of the spacecraft as workers assemble the faring, image courtesy of JAXA.
Photo 2 itemizes Hayabusa-2 components as viewed from above, and Photo 3 as viewed from below. Courtesy of JAXA.
Photo 4 reveals the Minerva rovers, courtesy JAXA, via
Photo 5 shows the Mascot rover’s design, courtesy of the German Aerospace Center.
Photo 6 is a close-up of the metallic “bullet” that was shot into the asteroid, via
Photo 7 is an image of Hayabusa’s shadow on Ryugu, circa 2018.
Photo 8 depicts the Hayabusa sampler horn that will collect material for return in 2020. Image courtesy of JAXA.
Photo 9 shows a triumphant team of mission scientists in the control room, Sagamihara, Japan; image courtesy of AFP. 

This research may help us better understand whether asteroid impacts seeded the earth in a fashion favorable to the evolution of life. NREF will continue monitoring this historic mission and will keep you posted—stay tuned! This is your website; please feel free to email NREF with suggestions and/or comments anytime.  Executive director, Thomas Atwood, tatwood[at]the-nref[dot]org.