MASCOT free falling towards asteroid Ryugu
On 3 October 2018, the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) separated from the Hayabusa2 mother craft at an altitude of 41 metres above the asteroid Ryugu. During the six-minute ballistic descent, which was not controlled by any propulsion system, the DLR camera MASCam acquired 20 images. As expected, MASCOT’s flight was turbulent. For this reason the camera’s orientation was uncontrolled and the images were acquired in numerous directions. Thus, images in the direction of the Sun (images numbers 9, 11, 13, 14 and 15) are also included in this sequence, which are strongly over-illuminated and do not show any details of the asteroid’s surface.