Hayabusa2 and MASCOT lander nearing Ryugu
Hayabusa2, JAXA's asteroid explorer, and the MASCOT lander, developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the French space agency (CNES) have been travelling through space since December 2014.
They are finally closing in on their destination asteroid – Ryugu. As of 14 June 2018, the distance between Hayabusa2 and Ryugu is less than 770 kilometres and the closing speed is 2.1 metres per second.##markend##
On 13 June 2018, the 'Optical Navigation Camera – Telescopic' (ONC-T) acquired an image of Ryugu, where the asteroid extends to 10 pixels. The short exposure time means that the background star field is invisible.
Earlier, the ONC-T also acquired an image with a much longer exposure time in which the background stars are visible.
More images will follow as the approach to asteroid Ryugu continues.
For more information about the mission, visit:
For direct updates from MASCOT and Hayabusa2 follow:
About the ONC
Hayabusa2's Optical Navigation Camera (ONC) system consists of one telescopic camera (T) and two wide-angle cameras (W1 and W2). ONC-T is a telescopic camera equipped with seven filters covering the visible and near-infrared parts of the spectrum.
Copyright for all images: JAXA, Kyoto University, Japan Spaceguard Association, University of Seoul, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Used with the kind permission of JAXA.