After a long journey through the solar system, Japan’s JAXA’s Hayabusa 2 asteroid probe successfully reached its target in the asteroid belt and collected samples of space rocks on ryugu. Earlier this month, JAXA announced that Hayabusa 2 had returned from an asteroid and had sent samples to Earth. Space.com reported that in a recent brief test, Hayabusa 2 activated its ion propulsion system.
(From: JAXA, via BGR)
Obviously, the test went well, so JAXA decided to return immediately. In collecting Ryugu rock samples, Hayabusa II managed to extract a material sample of the asteroid, despite encountering tricky dust and debris.
Previously, it took three years to complete this historic mission, which took The Hayabusa II to fly to Ryugu.
The good news is that Hayabusa 2’s return will progress faster, releasing a capsule that holds samples of asteroid material in about a year. If all goes well, it is expected to fall into Australia by December 2020.
Until then, JAXA still has a lot of work to do and cannot be guaranteed. The agency will pay close attention to the “heart-like arrow” of the Hayabusa II, interested friends, but also pay attention to follow-up reports.