Space | 15. June 2018

Hayabusa2 and MASCOT lander nearing Ryugu

Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

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.

Left: An image of Ryugu acquired by the ONC-T on board Hayabusa2 at around 13:50 JST (06:50 CEST, 04:50 UTC) on 13 June 2018. The distance to the asteroid is approximately 920 kilometres and the field of view is 6.5 × 6.5 degrees; the exposure time was 0.09 seconds. Right: enlarged section of left-hand image. Copyright: See note at the end of this post.

Earlier, the ONC-T also acquired an image with a much longer exposure time in which the background stars are visible.

Image of Ryugu acquired by the ONC-T on board Hayabusa2 at around 12:50 JST (05:50 CEST, 03:50 UTC) on 10 June 2018. The distance to the asteroid is approximately 1500 kilometres and the field of view is 6.5 × 6.5 degrees; the exposure time was 178 seconds. Ryugu, which is visible against the constellation Gemini, is sufficiently bright that it has partially saturated the ONC-T sensor. Copyright: See note at the end of this post.

More images will follow as the approach to asteroid Ryugu continues.

For more information about the mission, visit:
https://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10975/

For direct updates from MASCOT and Hayabusa2 follow:
@MASCOT2018
@haya2kun
@haya2e_jaxa

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.

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About the author

Elke Heinemann has been an editor for the DLR web portal since 2003. She has been responsible for the developmen of special sites for missions, such as the Rosetta mission, the International Space Station and Mars Express, for the web portal. to authorpage