Japanese spacecraft to attempt landing on distant asteroid (Update)

Japanese spacecraft to attempt landing on distant asteroid
This computer graphic image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows the Japanese unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 approaching on the asteroid Ryugu. Hayabusa2 is approaching the surface of an asteroid about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth. The JAXA said Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 that Hayabusa2 began its approach at 1:15 p.m. (JAXA via AP, File)

A Japanese spacecraft began its approach Thursday toward a distant asteroid on a mission to collect material that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth.

Hayabusa2's descent was delayed for about five hours for a safety check, but the unmanned craft is still due to touch down as scheduled on Friday morning, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.

During the touchdown, which will last just seconds, Hayabusa2 will extend a pipe and shoot a pinball-like bullet into the asteroid to blow up material from beneath the surface. If all goes successfully, the craft will then collect samples that would eventually be sent back to Earth. Friday's attempt is the first of three such touchdowns planned.

The brief landing will be challenging, because of the uneven and boulder-covered surface. Hayabusa2 is aiming for a 6-meter- (20-foot-) diameter circle to avoid obstacles. Space agency controllers will direct its approach until it is 500 meters (1,600 feet) above the asteroid's surface, after which it will be on its own because it takes 20 minutes for commands from Earth to reach the craft.

JAXA, as the Japanese space agency is known, has compared landing in the circle to landing on a baseball mound from its height of 20 kilometers (12 miles) above the asteroid.

Japanese spacecraft to attempt landing on distant asteroid
In this photo provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), staff of the Hayabusa2 Project watch monitors for a safety check at the control room of the JAXA Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Sagamihara, near Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 is approaching the surface of the asteroid Ryugu about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth. JAXA said Thursday that Hayabusa2 began its approach at 1:15 p.m. (ISAS/JAXA via AP)

The asteroid, named Ryugu after an undersea palace in a Japanese folktale, is about 900 meters (3,000 feet) in diameter and 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth.

Japanese spacecraft to attempt landing on distant asteroid
This Oct. 25, 2018, image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows asteroid Ryugu. Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 is approaching the surface of an asteroid about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth. The JAXA said Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, that Hayabusa2 began its approach at 1:15 p.m. Hayabusa2's shadow is seen at center right over Ryugu. (JAXA via AP)

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Feb 21, 2019
Any amount of investigation reveals that most of what we have been told about space travel is pure unadulterated B.S. The Earth is flat. We never went to the Moon. The Mars Rover video was created in an abandoned landfill. NASA is a nest of NAZIs and the entire space program is a clever way of stealing billions every year in taxpayer dollars. Jack Parsons was a Satanist and like all Satanists they get off on making the rest of us into dupes.

Feb 21, 2019
Forget exploring space. The REALLY interesting world to explore is inside of re-finder's head.

Feb 21, 2019
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Feb 21, 2019
Flat earth is a 4chan joke. However, if you think that we didn't go to the moon with the wondrous 60s technology of black construction paper taped with yellow scotch tape on to some aluminum curtain rods, you are out of your gourd. Just click on my name to see the awesome power of the duct tape!

Feb 21, 2019
I love these types of stories that conveniently leave out how they're controlling the spacecraft that is 280 million kilometers from earth. hahahahaha...

Feb 21, 2019
I love these types of stories that conveniently leave out how they're controlling the spacecraft that is 280 million kilometers from earth. hahahahaha...


Why? It's no secret if you look into it closely enough. They are (presumably) in controlled, rather than bound orbits. They'll know the mass and gravity of the object. They can upload the instructions for the orbital parameters to the spacecraft. If they go into bound orbits (i.e no thrusters, just using gravity), they will also be able to compute these from the objects' measured gravity.
Can't see the problem.

Feb 21, 2019
Yikes, this thing is only 1 km in diameter. To get bound orbits you'd have to get very close. Rosetta managed it at 67P, but that was somewhat more massive. About 20 x Ryugu's mass.

Feb 21, 2019
re: re-finder
No it doesn't. No it isn't. Yes we did. No it wasn't. No they aren't. Possibly. No he isn't. How do you know so much about satanists?
There. Your arguments are repudiated...

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