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HAYABUSA2 IMPACT CRATER EVENT, Apr 4, 2019, Asteroid Ryugu, 10:36 pm ET

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return mission is currently orbiting Asteroid Ryugu.  It deployed three landers/hoppers onto its surface in 2018, and in February 2019 briefly touched down on the asteroid to obtain a sample to return to Earth.

It resumed orbiting Ryugu and continues to conduct operations there.

On April 5, 2019 at 11:36 am Japan Standard Time (April 4, 10:36 pm Eastern Daylight Time), it will perform the next experiment.

In this case, it will send the Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI) to the surface with the intention of creating a 10-meter deep crater to expose subsurface material that has not been affected by eons of exposure to the space environment.

JAXA experts briefed the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference on the Hayabusa2 mission last month.  (U.S. scientists briefed the conference on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx sample return mission at the same conference.)

JAXA’s experts provided more details about the SCI experiment at the press briefing on April 2 JST.  The slides from that briefing (in English) are posted for those who want to know more.

One way to follow the mission is via the Hayabusa2 Twitter feed:  @haya2e_jaxa




April 4, 2019
10:30 pm - 11:30 pm