Japan asteroid probe enters 'target orbit' in space quest

December 14, 2015
Earlier this month the unmanned explorer, Hayabusa 2, passed by Earth to harness the planet's gravitational pull in a bid to swi
Earlier this month the unmanned explorer, Hayabusa 2, passed by Earth to harness the planet's gravitational pull in a bid to switch its orbital path to continue toward tiny Ryugu asteroid

A Japanese space probe successfully entered "target orbit" and is on its way to rendezvousing with a far away asteroid, in a quest to study the origin of the solar system, authorities said Monday.

Earlier this month the unmanned explorer, Hayabusa 2, passed by Earth to harness the planet's in a bid to switch its orbital path to continue toward tiny Ryugu asteroid.

"The Hayabusa 2... entered the target orbit to travel to the asteroid," Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said in a statement.

Hayabusa 2 was launched a year ago aboard Japan's main H-IIA rocket from Tanegashima Space Center for its six-year mission to bring back mineral samples from the asteroid.

It is expected to reach Ryugu, named after a mythical castle in a Japanese folk tale, in mid-2018 and spend around 18 months in the area.

It will also drop rover robots and a "landing package" that includes equipment for surface observation.

If all goes well, soil samples will be returned to Earth in late 2020.

Analysing the extra-terrestrial materials could help shed light on the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago and offer clues about what gave rise to life on Earth, scientists have said.

Explore further: Japan asteroid probe conducts 'Earth swing-by' in space quest

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IgorDS
not rated yet Dec 14, 2015
Come on: "rendezvousing", really?
...on its way to rendezvous with a far away ...
Or even better: ...on its way to meet up with a far away ...
Or even much better: ... on its way to a far away ...
SuperThunder
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2015
Japan in Spaaaace is having a good run lately.

"Rendezvousing" is a word.

box-of-tricks
not rated yet Dec 14, 2015
It is there to research the viability of mining. It will be a bit like whaling, for scientific purposes only. Telling the truth is never easy for some.
SuperThunder
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 15, 2015
It is there to research the viability of mining.

It better be, it's exquisitely designed coincidentally for that, and we'd all laugh at them if they overlooked such a thing.
It will be a bit like whaling, for scientific purposes only.

Because asteroids are sentient mammals, basically, space whales. I wont even ask why it can't be for scientific as well as commercial reasons, I know better, most humans cannot function in reality without dividing everything into bitterly hateful opposites.

Telling the truth is never easy for some.

Phys.org has taught me that it is actually biologically impossible for the majority of humans to tell the truth, ever, about anything, and they will never know they can't. Nature is a monster. A hilarious monster, but only if it accidentally favors you.

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