The Japanese will send a descent probe to the asteroid 1999 JU3 at the end of this year

    I think many representatives of the habrasociety are impatiently waiting for the moment when the Philae descent probe leaves the hospitable board of Rosetta station, and finally descends on the body of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This should happen in November 2014, that is, not so much time to wait.

    What can we expect after the completion of this mission? It turns out that there is something to wait for: at the end of this year, the Japanese are going to send their own landing probe to a distant celestial body. We are talking about the asteroid 1999 JU3, and the Hayabusa-2 probe will go to it.

    Space distances are extremely large, there are no warp engines in sight, so you'll have to wait four years. Already in 2018, the Hayabusa-2 should achieve the goal. Upon arrival at the asteroid, the probe must take asteroid soil samples, and after 2 years, by 2020, deliver these samples to the ground.

    Why the probe is called Hayabusa-2, because it has a predecessor, respectively, Hayabusa . The first probe was successfully launched in May 2009 for sampling from the near-Earth asteroid Itokawa. It is worth noting that the launch was carried out from the Japanese spaceport, using the Japanese Mu-5 launch vehicle.

    The implementation of the project was repeatedly threatened due to external factors: solar flares, problems with solar cells and other problems influenced the timing of sample delivery to Earth. Despite all these problems, the delivery was successfully completed in June 2010.

    The asteroid 1999 JU3 is quite large - its diameter is slightly less than a kilometer. This asteroid is near-Earth, from the same group to which the Itokawa asteroid belongs. Samples of solid material will be taken from the 1999 JU3 surface (in the first mission only dust was taken from the surface of the asteroid). Sampling will be carried out using a 30-centimeter device, which is called impactor. The impactor shoots back from the space station, and when it collides with the surface, it produces an explosion. The result of the explosion should be a meter-long crater that will allow you to take samples from the subsurface layers of the asteroid, which were not exposed to solar radiation.

    Hayabusa 2 has two sampling methods. The first is shelling of the surface of the asteroid with special shells, for the formation of dust with its subsequent selection. And the second method is the release of silicone-containing material into the crater, to take additional samples.

    The mission's goal is to study the early evolution of the solar system. Rosetta has the same goal.

    Via ibtimes

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