Japan’s Hayabusa2 probe makes touchdown on asteroid

  1. Hayabusa2 spacecraft has successfully touched down for the second time on the asteroid Ryugu. The successful touch down is the second for the space probe.
  2. In February, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft had successfully touched down on the asteroid Ryugu. It had then collected some surface fragments.
  3. Hayabusa 2 is a Japanese spacecraft launched in December 2014 on a six-year mission. It seeks to study the asteroid Ryugu and to collect samples to bring to Earth for analysis. It will bring the asteroid sample to Earth in 2020.
  4. Asteroid Ryugu is a near-Earth object and a potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo group. A near-Earth object (NEO) is any small Solar System body whose orbit brings it to proximity with Earth.
  5. The Apollo asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo. 1862 Apollo is an asteroid discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in 1930s.
  6. The Hayabusa2 mission is a follow-up to Japan’s original Hayabusa mission which took samples from asteroid Itokawa. It was the first spacecraft to take samples from an asteroid and also the first mission to successfully land and take off from an asteroid.