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First Light: Hayabusa 2 @ Ryugu.
#1
3 / 3 / 2018.  This mission deserves a standalone thread.

Eyes on Target: Japan’s Hayabusa 2 Takes First Images of Asteroid Ryugu
March 2, 2018  
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image:
http://spaceflight101.com/hayabusa-2/wp-...12x362.jpg
[Image: 67ab02d97d6b158f66eaece2589afeb6-512x362.jpg]Artist’s Impression of Hayabusa 2 Approaching Ryugu – Image: Akihiro Ikeshita
Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft – on a quest to touch an asteroid – has set its sight on its destination in late February via the first detection of asteroid Ryugu by the craft’s Telescopic Optical Navigation Camera that will be used to guide it into close proximity to the distant world later this year.
The probe still has over a million Kilometers to cover in order to reach its target in June for a one-and-a-half-year exploration mission that will see the spacecraft dispatch a series of landers and an impactor while also making contact with Ryugu itself to scoop up sample material to be returned to Earth in December 2020.
The first optical images of Ryugu, only appearing as a speck of light, were taken by the faraway spacecraft on February 26, Day 1,181 of the Hayabusa 2 mission that started back on December 3, 2014 with a successful launch atop an H-IIA rocket that sent the 590-Kilogram craft on a three-and-a-half-year journey to Ryugu – a 920-meter C-type primitive body that is hoped to hold a treasure trove of scientific information in the form of a preserved record of the early days of the solar system.



image: http://spaceflight101.com/hayabusa-2/wp-...12x355.jpg
[Image: Ryugu_firstlight_20180228_NN_shift_CR2-1-512x355.jpg]Credit: JAXA, Hayabusa Consortium
Sent off at a top speed of 11.8 Kilometers per second (relative to Earth), Hayabusa 2 entered a heliocentric orbit and completed 547 hours of ion engine firings between March and September 2015 to adjust course for an Earth flyby on December 3rd that saw the spacecraft zip past the planet at an altitude of around 3,090 Kilometers and borrow some of Earth’s angular momentum to speed up in its orbit around the sun to reach asteroid Ryugu. The speedy flyby provided a welcome opportunity for exercising the craft’s instrument suite and collecting calibration data of a very well-known target.
Heading back out, Hayabusa 2 was set for two major orbit-adjustment campaigns using its ion engines to slowly catch up with Ryugu that orbits the sun at 0.96 by 1.42 astronomical units. Some testing of the craft’s critical systems including the long-distance Ka-Band communications link were carried out along the way and the ion engines were operated for 794 hours between March and May 2016 to adjust the craft’s solar orbit by changing its speed by 127 m/s and adding a brief fine-tuning maneuver of 40 cm/s. The second orbit-adjustment campaign between November 2016 and May 2017 operated three of the four engines for 2,558 hours to change the craft’s speed by 435 m/s.

image: http://spaceflight101.com/hayabusa-2/wp-...12x320.jpg
[Image: renzoku2-512x320.jpg]Earth Flyby Montage – Image: JAXA
image: http://spaceflight101.com/hayabusa-2/wp-...12x279.jpg
[Image: hayabusa2orbits-512x279.jpg]Hayabusa Orbit Evolution – Image: JAXA
Hayabusa began firing three of its four ion engines again on January 10, 2018 marking the initiation of the far-field approach phase to take the spacecraft toward its destination with ion engine operation planned to last until early June when the final approach phase will be initiated from a distance of 2,500 Kilometers. Until June, the ion engines are expected to operate for 2,700 hours for a total delta-v of around 400 meters per second.
On February 26, Hayabusa pointed its Telescopic Optical Navigation Camera ONC-T toward Ryugu’s location and snapped approximately 300 images, a subset of which were transmitted on the 27th and indeed show the asteroid at an optical magnitude of 9. At the time the images were taken, the spacecraft was still 1.3 million Kilometers from its destination.
The ONC-T images provided independent confirmation that Hayabusa 2 is on the correct approach course toward Ryugu in addition to constant radio tracking of the spacecraft’s trajectory. According to Project Management, the spacecraft remains in excellent health and the current ion propulsion phase will proceed with maximum thrust.
Reaching the approach point in early June, Hayabusa 2 will rely on its three Optical Navigation Cameras to provide relative navigation data used by mission teams on Earth to plan the spacecraft’s final approach, first into a 20-Kilometer surveying orbit where the spacecraft is expected to arrive by July 5th. It will then be set for a step-wise descent first to five and then to one Kilometer from Ryugu’s surface to collect detailed remote-sensing data of the asteroid using a pair of infrared spectrometers tasked with studying the energy balance of the asteroid as well as its chemical composition.

image: http://spaceflight101.com/hayabusa-2/wp-...12x349.jpg
[Image: 2311622_orig-512x349.jpg]Photo: JAXA
The primary payload of Hayabusa 2 is a sample collection system that will acquire small amounts of surface samples during as many as three brief touchdowns of the main spacecraft on the asteroid’s surface using a high-fidelity navigation system that allows the spacecraft to make contact with the surface just long enough to shoot down a projectile and scoop up lifted dust through a sampling horn.
Furthermore, the spacecraft will dispatch four landers – the 10-Kilogram MASCOT lander built in Europe for an in-situ study of surface composition and properties, and three MINERVA landers to deliver imagery and temperature measurements. All landers will make several hops across the asteroid’s surface to take measurements at different locations.
>>Detailed Spacecraft, Instrument, Lander & Science Overview

image: http://spaceflight101.com/hayabusa-2/wp-...12x362.jpg
[url=http://spaceflight101.com/hayabusa-2/wp-content/uploads/sites/58/2017/01/5482225_orig.jpg][Image: 5482225_orig-512x362.jpg]Image: Akihiro Ikeshita
Another payload of the mission is an impactor device that will be deployed towards the asteroid and use high-explosives to generate a high-speed impact that is hoped to expose material from under the asteroid’s surface for later collection by Hayabusa 2. A deployable camera will be used to document the impact of the penetrator.
The number of touch-and-go attempts and landers to be dispatched not only makes Hayabusa 2 one of the most complex missions currently in operation but also creates a packed schedule for the 18 months it plans to spend in proximity to the asteroid. Per current planning schedules, the initial touchdown and lander deployment is planned for September/October followed by a brief intermission ahead of touchdown #2 in February 2019, the release of the impactor in March/April and the third touchdown one month later. Departure of Ryugu is expected in December 2019 for a one-year return journey expected to culminate with the high-speed re-entry and landing of the hermetically sealed Sample Return Capsule in Australia.

Read more at https://spaceflight101.com/hayabusa-2/ha...APXLgHR.99
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#2
Go Hayabusa Go !!!

Yes it does deserve its own thread.

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Light" - Jefferson Starship-Windows of Heaven Album
I'm an Earthling with a Martian Soul wanting to go Home.   
You have to turn your own lightbulb on. ©stevo25 & rhw007
Reply
#3
pyrene to graphene + 'magic angle' = @ Ryugu. ?


Quote: Wrote:"Starting off from simple gases, you can generate one-dimensional and two-dimensional structures, and pyrene could lead you to 2-D graphene," Ahmed said. "From there you can get to graphite, and the evolution of more complex chemistry begins."

Chemical sleuthing unravels possible path to forming life's building blocks in space
March 5, 2018, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


[Image: chemicalsleu.jpg]
An asteroid belt orbits a star in this artist's rendering. In a new study, experiments at Berkeley Lab explored possible chemical pathways that could form complex hydrocarbons -- like those found in some meteorite samples -- in space. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Scientists have used lab experiments to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space, showing pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of heated gases.


The latest study, which featured experiments at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), could help explain the presence of pyrene, which is a chemical compound known as a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and similar compounds in some meteorites.
A team of scientists, including researchers from Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley, participated in the study, published March 5 in the Nature Astronomy journal. The study was led by scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and also involved theoretical chemists at Florida International University.
"This is how we believe some of the first carbon-based structures evolved in the universe," said Musahid Ahmed, a scientist in Berkeley Lab's Chemical Sciences Division who joined other team members to perform experiments at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source (ALS).

"Starting off from simple gases, you can generate one-dimensional and two-dimensional structures, and pyrene could lead you to 2-D graphene," Ahmed said. "From there you can get to graphite, and the evolution of more complex chemistry begins."

Pyrene has a molecular structure composed of 16 carbon atoms and 10 hydrogen atoms. Researchers found that the same heated chemical processes that give rise to the formation of pyrene are also relevant to combustion processes in vehicle engines, for example, and the formation of soot particles.
The latest study builds on earlier work that analyzed hydrocarbons with smaller molecular rings that have also been observed in space, including in Saturn's moon Titan - namely benzene and naphthalene.
Ralf I. Kaiser, one of the study's lead authors and a chemistry professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said, "When these hydrocarbons were first seen in space, people got very excited. There was the question of how they formed." Were they purely formed through reactions in a mix of gases, or did they form on a watery surface, for example?
Ahmed said there is an interplay between astronomers and chemists in this detective work that seeks to retell the story of how life's chemical precursors formed in the universe.

"We talk to astronomers a lot because we want their help in figuring out what's out there," Ahmed said, "and it informs us to think about how it got there."
Kaiser noted that physical chemists, on the other hand, can help shine a light on reaction mechanisms that can lead to the synthesis of specific molecules in space.
[Image: 1-chemicalsleu.jpg]
Reaction pathways that can form a hydrocarbon called pyrene through a chemical method known as hydrogen-abstraction/acetylene-addition, or HACA, is shown at the top. At bottom, some possible steps by which pyrene can form more complex hydrocarbons via HACA (red) or another mechanism (blue) called hydrogen abstraction -- vinylacetylene addition (HAVA). Credit: Long Zhao, Ralf I. Kaiser, et al./Nature Astronomy, DOI: 10.1038/s41550-018-0399-y

Pyrene belongs to a family known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, that are estimated to account for about 20 percent of all carbon in our galaxy. PAHs are organic molecules that are composed of a sequence of fused molecular rings. To explore how these rings develop in space, scientists work to synthesize these molecules and other surrounding molecules known to exist in space.
Alexander M. Mebel, a chemistry professor at Florida International University who participated in the study, said, "You build them up one ring at a time, and we've been making these rings bigger and bigger. This is a very reductionist way of looking at the origins of life: one building block at a time."
For this study, researchers explored the chemical reactions stemming from a combination of a complex hydrocarbon known as the 4-phenanthrenyl radical, which has a molecular structure that includes a sequence of three rings and contains a total of 14 carbon atoms and nine hydrogen atoms, with acetylene (two carbon atoms and two hydrogen atoms).
Chemical compounds needed for the study were not commercially available, said Felix Fischer, an assistant professor of chemistry at UC Berkeley who also contributed to the study, so his lab prepared the samples. "These chemicals are very tedious to synthesize in the laboratory," he said.
At the ALS, researchers injected the gas mixture into a microreactor that heated the sample to a high temperature to simulate the proximity of a star. The ALS generates beams of light, from infrared to X-ray wavelengths, to support a range of science experiments by visiting and in-house researchers.
The mixture of gases was jetted out of the microreactor through a tiny nozzle at supersonic speeds, arresting the active chemistry within the heated cell. The research team then focused a beam of vacuum ultraviolet light from the synchrotron on the heated gas mixture that knocked away electrons (an effect known as ionization).
They then analyzed the chemistry taking place using a charged-particle detector that measured the varied arrival times of particles that formed after ionization. These arrival times carried the telltale signatures of the parent molecules. These experimental measurements, coupled with Mebel's theoretical calculations, helped researchers to see the intermediate steps of the chemistry at play and to confirm the production of pyrene in the reactions.
Mebel's work showed how pyrene (a four-ringed molecular structure) could develop from a compound known as phenanthrene (a three-ringed structure). These theoretical calculations can be useful for studying a variety of phenomena, "from combustion flames on Earth to outflows of carbon stars and the interstellar medium," Mebel said.
Kaiser added, "Future studies could study how to create even larger chains of ringed molecules using the same technique, and to explore how to form graphene from pyrene chemistry."
Other experiments conducted by team members at the University of Hawaii will explore what happens when researchers mix hydrocarbon gases in icy conditions and simulate cosmic radiation to see whether that may spark the creation of life-bearing molecules.
"Is this enough of a trigger?" Ahmed said. "There has to be some self-organization and self-assembly involved" to create life forms. "The big question is whether this is something that, inherently, the laws of physics do allow."
 Explore further: A hot start to the origin of life? Researchers map the first chemical bonds that eventually give rise to DNA
More information: Long Zhao et al, Pyrene synthesis in circumstellar envelopes and its role in the formation of 2D nanostructures, Nature Astronomy (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41550-018-0399-y

Journal reference: Nature Astronomy [/url]
Provided by:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

https://phys.org/news/2018-03-chemical-s...-life.html




Quote: Wrote:"Starting off from simple gases, you can generate one-dimensional and two-dimensional structures, and pyrene could lead you to 2-D graphene," Ahmed said.
"From there you can get to graphite, and the evolution of more complex chemistry begins."


When rotated at a 'magic angle,' graphene sheets can form an insulator or a superconductor
March 5, 2018 by Jennifer Chu, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


[Image: whenrotateda.jpg]
Physicists at MIT and Harvard University have found that graphene, a lacy, honeycomb-like sheet of carbon atoms, can behave at two electrical extremes: as an insulator, in which electrons are completely blocked from flowing; and as a superconductor, in which electrical current can stream through without resistance. Credit: MIT

It's hard to believe that a single material can be described by as many superlatives as graphene can. Since its discovery in 2004, scientists have found that the lacy, honeycomb-like sheet of carbon atoms - essentially the most microscopic shaving of pencil lead you can imagine - is not just the thinnest material known in the world, but also incredibly light and flexible, hundreds of times stronger than steel, and more electrically conductive than copper.



Now physicists at MIT and Harvard University have found the wonder material can exhibit even more curious electronic properties. In two papers published today in Nature, the team reports it can tune graphene to behave at two electrical extremes: as an insulator, in which electrons are completely blocked from flowing; and as a superconductor, in which electrical current can stream through without resistance.

Researchers in the past, including this team, have been able to synthesize graphene superconductors by placing the material in contact with other superconducting metals - an arrangement that allows graphene to inherit some superconducting behaviors. This time around, the team found a way to make graphene superconduct on its own, demonstrating that superconductivity can be an intrinsic quality in the purely carbon-based material.

The physicists accomplished this by creating a "superlattice" of two graphene sheets stacked together - not precisely on top of each other, but rotated ever so slightly, at a "magic angle" of 1.1 degrees.

As a result, the overlaying, hexagonal honeycomb pattern is offset slightly, creating a precise moiré configuration that is predicted to induce strange, "strongly correlated interactions" between the electrons in the graphene sheets. In any other stacked configuration, graphene prefers to remain distinct, interacting very little, electronically or otherwise, with its neighboring layers.

The team, led by Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, an associate professor of physics at MIT, found that when rotated at the magic angle, the two sheets of graphene exhibit nonconducting behavior, similar to an exotic class of materials known as Mott insulators. When the researchers then applied voltage, adding small amounts of electrons to the graphene superlattice, they found that, at a certain level, the electrons broke out of the initial insulating state and flowed without resistance, as if through a superconductor.

"We can now use graphene as a new platform for investigating unconventional superconductivity," Jarillo-Herrero says. "One can also imagine making a superconducting transistor out of graphene, which you can switch on and off, from superconducting to insulating. That opens many possibilities for quantum devices."

 

A 30-year gap

A material's ability to conduct electricity is normally represented in terms of energy bands. A single band represents a range of energies that a material's electrons can have. There is an energy gap between bands, and when one band is filled, an electron must embody extra energy to overcome this gap, in order to occupy the next empty band.

A material is considered an insulator if the last occupied energy band is completely filled with electrons. Electrical conductors such as metals, on the other hand, exhibit partially filled energy bands, with empty energy states which the electrons can fill to freely move.

Mott insulators, however, are a class of materials that appear from their band structure to conduct electricity, but when measured, they behave as insulators. Specifically, their energy bands are half-filled, but because of strong electrostatic interactions between electrons (such as charges of equal sign repelling each other), the material does not conduct electricity. The half-filled band essentially splits into two miniature, almost-flat bands, with electrons completely occupying one band and leaving the other empty, and hence behaving as an insulator.

"This means all the electrons are blocked, so it's an insulator because of this strong repulsion between the electrons, so nothing can flow," Jarillo-Herrero explains. "Why are Mott insulators important? It turns out the parent compound of most high-temperature superconductors is a Mott insulator."

In other words, scientists have found ways to manipulate the electronic properties of Mott insulators to turn them into superconductors, at relatively high temperatures of about 100 Kelvin. To do this, they chemically "dope" the material with oxygen, the atoms of which attract electrons out of the Mott insulator, leaving more room for remaining electrons to flow. When enough oxygen is added, the insulator morphs into a superconductor. How exactly this transition occurs, Jarillo-Herrero says, has been a 30-year mystery.

"This is a problem that is 30 years and counting, unsolved," Jarillo-Herrero says. "These high-temperature superconductors have been studied to death, and they have many interesting behaviors. But we don't know how to explain them."

A precise rotation

Jarillo-Herrero and his colleagues looked for a simpler platform to study such unconventional physics. In studying the electronic properties in graphene, the team began to play around with simple stacks of graphene sheets. The researchers created two-sheet superlattices by first exfoliating a single flake of graphene from graphite, then carefully picking up half the flake with a glass slide coated with a sticky polymer and an insulating material of boron nitride.

They then rotated the glass slide very slightly and picked up the second half of the graphene flake, adhering it to the first half. In this way, they created a superlattice with an offset pattern that is distinct from graphene's original honeycomb lattice.

The team repeated this experiment, creating several "devices," or graphene superlattices, with various angles of rotation, between 0 and 3 degrees. They attached electrodes to each device and measured an electrical current passing through, then plotted the device's resistance, given the amount of the original current that passed through.

"If you are off in your rotation angle by 0.2 degrees, all the physics is gone," Jarillo-Herrero says. "No superconductivity or Mott insulator appears. So you have to be very precise with the alignment angle."

At 1.1 degrees - a rotation that has been predicted to be a "magic angle" - the researchers found the graphene superlattice electronically resembled a flat band structure, similar to a Mott insulator, in which all electrons carry the same energy regardless of their momentum.

"Imagine the momentum for a car is mass times velocity," Jarillo-Herrero says. "If you're driving at 30 miles per hour, you have a certain amount of kinetic energy. If you drive at 60 miles per hour, you have much higher energy, and if you crash, you could deform a much bigger object. This thing is saying, no matter if you go 30 or 60 or 100 miles per hour, they would all have the same energy."

"Current for free"

For electrons, this means that, even if they are occupying a half-filled energy band, one electron does not have any more energy than any other electron, to enable it to move around in that band. Therefore, even though such a half-filled band structure should act like a conductor, it instead behaves as an insulator - and more precisely, a Mott insulator.

This gave the team an idea: What if they could add electrons to these Mott-like superlattices, similar to how scientists doped Mott insulators with oxygen to turn them into superconductors? Would graphene assume superconducting qualities in turn?

To find out, they applied a small gate voltage to the "magic-angle graphene superlattice," adding small amounts of electrons to the structure. As a result, individual electrons bound together with other electrons in graphene, allowing them to flow where before they could not. Throughout, the researchers continued to measure the electrical resistance of the material, and found that when they added a certain, small amount of electrons, the electrical current flowed without dissipating energy - just like a superconductor.

"You can flow current for free, no energy wasted, and this is showing graphene can be a superconductor," Jarillo-Herrero says.

Perhaps more importantly, he says the researchers are able to tune graphene to behave as an insulator or a superconductor, and any phase in between, exhibiting all these diverse properties in one single device. This is in contrast to other methods, in which scientists have had to grow and manipulate hundreds of individual crystals, each of which can be made to behave in just one electronic phase.

"Usually, you have to grow different classes of materials to explore each phase," Jarillo-Herrero says. "We're doing this in-situ, in one shot, in a purely carbon device. We can explore all those physics in one device electrically, rather than having to make hundreds of devices. It couldn't get any simpler."

  Explore further: Atomically thin building blocks could make optoelectrical devices more efficient

More information: Correlated Insulator Behaviour at Half-Filling in Magic Angle Graphene Superlattices, Nature (2018). nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nature26154


Journal reference: Nature
Provided by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Read more at:
https://phys.org/news/2018-03-rotated-ma...s.html#jCp
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With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
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#4
Japan space probe reaches asteroid in search for origin of life  LilD
June 27, 2018


[Image: theprobewasl.jpg]
The probe was launched in 2014
A Japanese probe has reached an asteroid 300 million kilometres away to collect information about the birth of the solar system and the origin of life after a more than three-year voyage through deep space.



The Hayabusa2 probe successfully settled into an observation position 20 kilometres (12 miles) above the Ryugu asteroid, officials from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said Wednesday.

Researchers broke out into cheers when the probe arrived in place, a feat JAXA described as "shooting from Japan at a six centimetre target in Brazil".

"Today, we are at the beginning of a space science exploration that is unprecedented for humankind," project manager Yuichi Tsuda told reporters.

The successful mission came just days before the UN's International Asteroid Day on June 30, a global event to raise awareness about the hazards of an asteroid impact and technological progress to counter such a threat.

Scientists hope to glean clues about what gave rise to life on Earth from samples taken from Ryugu, which is thought to contain relatively large amounts of organic matter and water.

Photos of Ryugu—which means "Dragon Palace" in Japanese, a castle at the bottom of the ocean in an ancient Japanese tale—show an asteroid shaped a bit like a spinning top with a rough surface.

[Image: japanspacepr.jpg]
This computer graphics image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows an asteroid and asteroid explorer Hayabusa2. The Japanese space explorer that will try to blow a crater in an asteroid and bring back samples from inside is nearing its destination after a 3 1/2 -year journey. The unmanned Hayabusa2 has arrived at the asteroid Wednesday, June 27, 2018, about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth.(JAXA via AP)
The Hayabusa2 probe was in good shape and now ready to start exploring the asteroid over the coming 18 months, JAXA said.

The next stage is to identify suitable sites to take samples from once the probe touches down on the asteroid, scientist Seiichiro Watanabe said.

'Impactor'

Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA's first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa—Japanese for falcon.

[Image: 1-japanspacepr.jpg]
This computer graphics image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 landing on a crater that it made. The Japanese space explorer that will try to blow a crater in an asteroid and bring back samples from inside is nearing its destination after a 3 1/2 -year journey. The unmanned Hayabusa2 has arrived at the asteroid Wednesday, June 27, 2018, about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth. (JAXA via AP)
That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey and was hailed as a scientific triumph.

The Hayabusa2 mission costs 30 billion yen ($274 million) and the probe was launched in December 2014. It will stay with the asteroid for 18 months before heading back to Earth with its samples.

Its total flight time was 1,302 days and it cruised 3.2 billion kilometres through space on a circuitous route to get to its target, Tsuda told reporters.

To collect its samples, it will release an "impactor" that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a two kilo (four pound) copper object into the surface to excavate a crater a few metres in diameter.

Quote:[Image: fig20180625-1.jpg]

Jun 25, 2018
The surface details on Ryugu are now visible
Hayabusa2 is close to arriving at asteroid Ryugu. After a journey of around 3.2 billion km since launch, our destination is finally near. Two small objects will soon meet in outer space 280 million km from the Earth.
Figure 1 shows Ryugu photographed by the ONC-W1 (Optical Navigation Camera - Wide angle) on June 24, at about 15:00 JST. We can see Ryugu floating in the jet black of space.
[Image: fig20180625-1.jpg]
Figure 1: Asteroid Ryugu images by the ONC-W1. Photograph was taken on June 24, 2018 at around 15:00 JST and shows a section of the camera's wide field of view.

Credit * : JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, Aizu University, AIST

Figure 2 shows Ryugu photographed with the ONC-T (Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic) on June 24, at around 00:01 JST.

The appearance of the surface has now become much clearer. The distance between the spacecraft and the asteroid when this photo was taken was about 40 km.

[Image: fig20180625-2_orgsize-thumb-500x500-4501.jpg]


[Image: 2-japanspacepr.jpg]
This image taken on June 24, 2018 and provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows asteroid of Ryugu that asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 was expected to reach as its target. The image was taken in the distance of about 40 kilometers (25 miles) between the explorer and the asteroid. The Japanese space explorer that will try to blow a crater in an asteroid and bring back samples from inside is nearing its destination after a 3 1/2 -year journey. The unmanned Hayabusa2 has arrived at the asteroid Wednesday, June 27, 2018, about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth.(JAXA and partner institutions via AP)
From this crater, the probe will collect "fresh" materials unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, hoping for answers to some fundamental questions about life and the universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.

The probe will observe the surface with its camera and sensing equipment but will also drop tiny MINERVA-II rover robots as well as a French-German landing package named Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) for surface observation.


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-japan-spac...e.html#jCp




Grease in space
June 27, 2018, Royal Astronomical Society


[Image: greaseinspace.jpg]
An illustration of the structure of a greasy carbon molecule, set against an image of the galactic centre, where this material has been detected. Carbon is represented as grey spheres and hydrogen as white spheres. Credit: D. Young (2011), The Galactic Center. Flickr – CreativeCommons
The galaxy is rich in grease-like molecules, according to an Australian-Turkish team. Astronomers at the University of New South Wales in Sydney (UNSW), and Ege University in Turkey used a laboratory to manufacture material with the same properties as interstellar dust and used their results to estimate the amount of 'space grease' found in the Milky Way. Their results appear in a paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.



Organic matter of different kinds contains carbon, an element considered essential for life. There is though real uncertainty over its abundance, and only half the carbon expected is found between the stars in its pure form. The rest is chemically bound in two main forms, grease-like (aliphatic) and mothball-like (aromatic).

The UNSW / Ege team used a laboratory to create material with the same properties as interstellar dust. They mimicked the process by which organic molecules are synthesised in the outflows of carbon stars, by expanding a carbon-containing plasma into a vacuum at low temperature. The material was collected and then analysed by a combination of techniques. Using magnetic resonance and spectroscopy (splitting light into its constituent wavelengths) they were able to determine how strongly the material absorbed light with a certain infrared wavelength, a marker for aliphatic carbon.

"Combining our lab results with observations from astronomical observatories allows us to measure the amount of aliphatic carbon between us and the stars," explained Professor Tim Schmidt, from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science in the School of Chemistry at UNSW Sydney.

The researchers found that there are about 100 greasy carbon atoms for every million hydrogen atoms, accounting for between a quarter and a half of the available carbon. In the Milky Way galaxy, this amounts to about 10 billion trillion trillion tonnes of greasy matter, or enough for 40 trillion trillion trillion packs of butter.

Schmidt is quick to dispel the comparison with anything edible: "This space grease is not the kind of thing you'd want to spread on a slice of toast! It's dirty, likely toxic and only forms in the environment of interstellar space (and our laboratory). It's also intriguing that organic material of this kind – material that gets incorporated into planetary systems – is so abundant."

The team now wants to determine the abundance of the mothball-like carbon, which will involve yet more challenging work in the laboratory. By firmly establishing the amount of each type of carbon in the dust, they will know precisely how much of this element is available to create life.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Constraining the chemistry of carbon-chain molecules in space

More information: B Günay et al. Aliphatic Hydrocarbon Content of Interstellar Dust, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty1582


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-06-space.html#jCp
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#5
Hayabusa 2 probe gets a closer look at asteroid amid landing preps


Stephen Clark


[/url] [url=https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/08/15/hayabusa-2-probe-gets-a-closer-look-at-asteroid-amid-landing-preps/#]
[Image: 201808062323.jpg]A wide-angle optical navigation camera on the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft captured this view of asteroid Ryugu on Aug. 6 as the spacecraft approached to a distance of less than 2,800 feet (851 meters) from the object. Credit: JAXA, University Tokyo, Koichi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST
The Japanese Hayabusa 2 spacecraft dropped within a half-mile of asteroid Ryugu last week, probing its gravity field ahead of key decisions in the coming days to settle on a target site for the robotic mission’s first sample collection attempt, and the best touchdown location for a European lander stowed on the mothership.
The descent to a distance of 2,792 feet (851 meters) from Ryugu was the closest Hayabusa 2 has come to the asteroid since arriving at a stationkeeping position roughly 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the object June 27.
During the descent last week, ground controllers commanded Hayabusa 2 to disable its rocket control thrusters, allowing sensors on the spacecraft to measure the probe’s attraction to Ryugu by the asteroid’s gravitational field. Once it reached the point of closest approach Aug. 6, Hayabusa 2 fired jets to climb away from Ryugu, and the spacecraft again collected data on the asteroid’s gravity.
“In the gravity measurement operation, we allow the spacecraft’s motion to be determined by the attraction of Ryugu’s gravity without controlling the trajectory and attitude of the spacecraft (“free-fall” and “free-rise”),” officials wrote in an update on Hayabusa 2’s official website. “By monitoring the exact movement of the Hayabusa 2, we can see how strong the gravitational attraction is from Ryugu.”
The data will help navigators at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s control center in Sagamihara, on the outskirts of Tokyo, plot future movements of Hayabusa 2 around the asteroid. Improved gravity measurements should also help engineers develop more accurate trajectories when the mission descends to Ryugu’s surface later this year for the first of three touch-and-go landings to snag rock specimens for return to Earth.
Close-up imagery recorded by Hayabusa 2’s telescopic optical camera revealed new details about Ryugu’s surface last week, showing textures, rugged ridges and large boulders strewn across a dark gray landscape.
[Image: Fig2a-678x677.jpg]Hayabusa 2’s telescopic optical camera captured this view of Ryugu’s surface from a distance of roughly 3,300 feet (1 kilometer) on Aug. 6. Credit: JAXA, University Tokyo, Koichi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST
Scientists are expected to soon decide where to send Hayabusa 2 this fall to gather its first sample. Researchers are meeting this week in Sagamihara to assess the mission’s early data returns.
Hayabusa 2 is a follow-up to Japan’s Hayabusa mission, which explored asteroid Itokawa in 2005 and returned microscopic samples to Earth in 2010. Hayabusa encountered numerous problems that threatened to end the mission, including a fuel leak and a malfunction in its sampling mechanism, which caused it to collect much less sample material than originally planned.
Japan’s new asteroid mission incorporated several upgrades from Hayabusa, and it launched in December 2014 to kick off the three-and-a-half-year trip to Ryugu.
Mission managers this week are also discussing where a European lander riding piggyback on Hayabusa 2 should land on Ryugu.
The Mobile Surface Asteroid Scout, or MASCOT, is a tiny addition to the Hayabusa 2 mission. Developed by the German and French space agencies — DLR and CNES — the battery-powered lander measures 12 inches by 12 inches by 8 inches (30 x 30 x 20 centimeters), and it weighs just 22 pounds (10 kilograms).
In early October, Hayabusa 2 will spring-eject the MASCOT spacecraft, aiming it toward a predetermined site on Ryugu for a slow-speed crash landing. Assuming the landing goes according to plan, MASCOT will power up its four instruments, including a camera, to survey the asteroid, then activate a swing arm to catapult to another part of Ryugu for more observations.
The asteroid spans around 3,000 feet (900 meters) in diameter, and takes around 7.6 hours to complete one rotation. Ryugu’s orbit loops it around the sun once every 1.3 years.
The diminutive size of Ryugu translates to a tenuous gravity field estimated to be 60,000 times weaker than Earth’s, meaning a relatively minor push could propel an object long distances across the asteroid, or even back into space.
Ryugu is a C-type asteroid, and scientists believe it contains primitive building blocks left over the formation of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.
Ralf Jaumann from the DLR Institute of Planetary Research, principal investigator on MASCOT, says he is excited about the lander’s exploration of Ryugu.
“In all honesty, I have seen lots of asteroids before, but nothing quite like this,” Jaumann said in an interview posted on DLR’s website. “The many large boulders on the surface are extremely interesting! This is something that has never been seen. The Itokawa asteroid that was visited by the first Hayabusa mission also features boulders, but not as large or as homogenously distributed.
“Ryugu also has more impact craters than other small asteroids,” adds Jaumann, who also works as a scientist on NASA’s Dawn mission to Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt.
“But what is really impressive are the numerous, very large boulders on the surface,” Jaumann said. “This material appears to be much stronger than the fine material that we see. I am really looking forward to the lander being on the surface and being able to view such a boulder up close.”
[Image: SPB_MASCOT_08_HiRes-678x801.jpg]Artist’s illustration of the Hayabusa 2 and MASCOT spacecraft at asteroid Ryugu (not to scale). Credit: DLR
Officials charged with selecting MASCOT’s landing site have ruled out the asteroid’s poles. Engineers also want to keep MASCOT away from a region where long periods of sunlight could cause it to overheat.
Hayabusa 2’s recent gravity measurement will feed into the decision on where to send MASCOT.
“Gravity will affect how MASCOT bounces and this will influence the final position at which the released lander comes to rest,” said Tra-Mi Ho, MASCOT project leader at DLR’s Institute of Space Systems. “Information on the asteroid’s thermal characteristics is also crucial. That is still lacking and is being examined at the moment. Another important aspect is the size of the rocks on Ryugu. A certain size of rock could cause MASCOT to get stuck.”
Despite the risk from Ryugu’s boulders, officials were heartened to discover the asteroid does not have the unusual dual-lobe potato shape of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the destination where Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft explored for more than two years, and deployed a lander named Philae.
Philae and MASCOT were developed by many of the same engineers and scientists in Germany and France, but MASCOT is the smaller of the two. The lander set to arrive at Ryugu is designed to function for 16 hours — it can’t recharge with solar power — and will relay images and other data to Earth through the Hayabusa 2 mothership
“Ultimately, I was relieved that it was not a celestial body like the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, on which Philae landed in November 2014,” Ho said. “At least Ryugu is more consistently formed than 67P. Of course, we had qualms on seeing all those rocks – together with concerns about whether it would all be too challenging for MASCOT.”
Hayabusa 2 carries more deployable landers developed by Japanese scientists for placement on the surface of Ryugu over the next year-and-a-half.
The mission is set to depart the asteroid in late 2019, with return to Earth scheduled for December 2020 with a parachute-assisted landing of Hayabusa 2’s sample carrier in Australia.


https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/08/15/ha...ing-preps/
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#6
hey look, is that the Millennium Falcon up there?
On a satellite I ride. Nothing down below can hide.
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#7
LilD Good One!

[Image: 201808062323.jpg]


A long time ago... in an improv Har!-Har! away Arrow 

[Image: 2-astronomersi.jpg]
Astronomers identify some of the oldest galaxies in the universe
Astronomers have identified some of the earliest galaxies in the Universe.
[Image: 1x1.gif]5 hours ago in Astronomy [Image: 1x1.gif]
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#8
...

That thing on top of Ryugu is about 100 meters long and 50 high.
That is a foreign object that has somehow attached to the asteroid.

Look,
it's our old buddy from the Ceres Dawn team, 
it's Ralf  Holycowsmile Jauman:


Quote:“In all honesty, 
I have seen lots of asteroids before, 
but nothing quite like this,” 
Ralf Holycowsmile  Jaumann said in an interview posted on DLR’s website. 

“The many large boulders on the surface are extremely interesting! 
This is something that has  never Nonono  been   Hi  seen Whip 

The Itokawa asteroid that was visited by the first Hayabusa mission also features boulders, 
but not as large or as homogenously distributed.


Landing bets
right in the middle of that dimple like crater right in the center of the asteroid {image}

dang thing looks like it came out of an ice cube tray ...
Ralf Whip
has lots of explaining to do.
I am all ears and eyeballs waiting for their theory on how this asteroid got it's shape.

...
Reply
#9
never mind the CUBE SHAPED celestial boat with the Millennium Falcon on top... lmao
On a satellite I ride. Nothing down below can hide.
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#10
Quote:
Professor Fagan says that the origin of Y-793261 is most likely an astronomical object near 162173 Ryugu (commonly known as Ryugu), an asteroid named after a dragon's palace from an old Japanese folktale. Currently being investigated by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2,


Crystalline silica in meteorite brings scientists closer to understanding solar evolution
August 23, 2018, Waseda University


[Image: crystallines.jpg]
The solar protoplanetary nebula. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A multi-institutional team of researchers has discovered silica mineral quartz in a primitive meteorite, comprising direct evidence of silica condensation within the solar protoplanetary disk, and offering new clues to understanding solar formation and evolution. Though previous infrared spectroscopic observations have suggested the existence of silica in young and newly formed T Tauri stars as well as in asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in their last phase of life, no evidence of gas-solid condensation of silica had been found in other primitive meteorites from the early stages of the solar system.



The scientists studied the primitive meteorite Yamato-793261 (Y-793261), a carbonaceous chondrite collected from an ice field near the Yamato Mountains during the 20th Japan Antarctic Research Expedition in 1979.

"The degree of crystallinity of organic matter in Y-793261 shows that it did not undergo thermal metamorphism," explains Timothy Jay Fagan, professor of geochemistry at Waseda University. "This confirms that Y-793261 preserves minerals and textures of its nebular origin, providing us with records of the early solar system."

A major component of chondrites includes refractory inclusions, which form at high temperatures and are the oldest solar system solids dated. Refractory inclusions can be subdivided into calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs) and amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs). The research team found an AOA in Y-793261 containing typical AOA minerals and ultra-refractory (very high temperature) scandium- and zirconium-bearing minerals, along with the quartz (which forms at comparatively lower temperature). "Such variety in minerals implies that the AOA condensed from nebular gas to solid over a wide temperature range from approximately 1500–900°C," Professor Fagan says.S "This aggregate is the first of its kind to be found in our solar system."

[Image: 1-crystallines.jpg]
Primitive meteorite Y-793261. Credit: Waseda University
They also found that the quartz in the AOA has an oxygen isotopic composition close to the sun's. This isotopic composition is typical of refractory inclusions in general, which indicates that refractory inclusions formed close to the protosun (approximately 0.1 AU, or 1/10 of the distance from the Earth to the sun). The fact that the quartz in the Y-793261 shares this isotopic composition indicates that the quartz formed in the same setting in the solar nebula. However, silica condensation from solar nebula gas is hypothetically impossible if minerals and gas remain in equilibrium during condensation. This finding serves as evidence that the AOA formed from a rapidly cooling gas. As silica-poor minerals condensed from the gas, the gas changed composition, becoming more silica-rich, until the quartz became stable and crystallized.

Professor Fagan says that the origin of Y-793261 is most likely an astronomical object near 162173 Ryugu (commonly known as Ryugu), an asteroid named after a dragon's palace from an old Japanese folktale. Currently being investigated by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2, Ryugu may share the same properties as Y-793261 and potentially provide more records on the early solar system. "By combining ongoing research on meteorites with new results from Ryugu, we hope to better understand the thermal events and transfers of mass that occurred during the beginning stages of our solar system."

This study was published online in Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) on July 2, 2018 (EST).

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: A new mineral from the oldest solar system solids in meteorites

More information: Mutsumi Komatsu et al, First evidence for silica condensation within the solar protoplanetary disk, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1722265115


Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: Waseda University


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-crystallin...r.html#jCp
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Reply
#11
Ryugu means "Palace of the Dragon King"
so I guess that must be his Millenium Falcon parked on top...

He seems to be a cubist..

Japan sent Hayabusa2 see it. 
(hayabusa means Falcon btw)
 
in Legend, Ryugo-Jo was the palace of the Dragon King, it was located beyond the sea.  it had four sides, on each side was a different season. To visit there for a day was to pass 100 years on Earth.
The Dragon King.. Ryugu-jin- well, he did some crazy things- like giving technological weapons to the natives and so forth- typical ancient god/alien sort of stuff.
a quick look into these legends and tales coupled with a look at what their technological namesake returns image wise is very revealing...
 
 
this is remarkable stuff folks, can't make it up.

Who needs to when the reality is really... out.... there... ???

[Image: 40103471_1847934145284308_47939643703400...e=5BF0DFCD]
On a satellite I ride. Nothing down below can hide.
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#12
Cant see any life forms on there .. Sheep
Reply
#13
He seems to be a cubist..

[Image: Sixsided_Dice_inJapan.jpg]

from that vantage.

If itz a fractal function of silicate from granule to nodule to asteroidal?(If there is a large content of Silicate.

It also looks like an equatorial ridge around  it kinda/sorta
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
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#14
There should be MORE images released by now.  This thing is ORBIT around it and preparing to LAND...hence they must snapping thousands of images from different cameras and spectrum shots determine mineral content on every square meter of this thing.

Frack the 6 month 'embargo' on images.

This is way too exciting that MORE images should be RELEASED to the PUBLIC ASAP. Whip

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
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#15
http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/210885
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#16
I added two and commented on one of yours. AWESOME Gigapan of the thing,

Thank You Kieth Applause Worship


Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Light" - Jefferson Starship-Windows of Heaven Album
I'm an Earthling with a Martian Soul wanting to go Home.   
You have to turn your own lightbulb on. ©stevo25 & rhw007
Reply
#17
...


Quote:Frack the 6 month 'embargo' on images.


Is that what they are doing?
No more images for 6 months?
That would be criminal, though common with these space missions.

The gigapan is great.
What a wild thing!
I could go rock hounding there and look for suiseki rocks.
Interpreting how the first three images in the gigapan were oriented in relation to each other,
was very difficult.
The unusual object on top of the icy boulder cube just didn't seem to connect in the image rotations.
...
Reply
#18
Hayabusa 2 team sets dates for asteroid landings

September 6, 2018 Stephen Clark

[Image: ryugu_6km.jpg]
Hayabusa 2’s optical navigation camera captured this view of asteroid Ryugu from a distance of 6 kilometers (4 miles) on July 20. Credit: JAXA

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is preparing to release three hopping robots to land on asteroid Ryugu in the coming month, with tiny instruments scientists hope will explore the airless world’s boulder-strewn landscape and return the first images from the surface of an asteroid.



Two of the landers developed by the Japanese space agency will be deployed together by Hayabusa 2 on Sept. 21, and another landing probe provided by German and French scientists is set for its descent to Ryugu on Oct. 3.

Those landing attempts will be preceded by a landing rehearsal using the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to approach within 100 feet (30 meters) of Ryugu next week. The spacecraft is scheduled to reach its closest point to the asteroid Sept. 12, low enough to fire and test its laser range finder, a navigation sensor to be used on future touch-and-go maneuvers to snag a sample of Ryugu for return to Earth.

Next week’s practice descent will set the stage for a second rehearsal in mid-October, followed by the full sampling run at the end of next month.

The close-up maneuvers around Ryugu come after more than two months of mapping surveys, revealing Ryugu’s appearance for the first time after Hayabusa 2’s arrival in late June.

The mission’s early reconnaissance of Ryugu allowed scientists to measure its size and mass. The asteroid has a slightly flattened shape, spanning around 3,280 feet (1 kilometer) in diameter along its equator and approximately 2,880 feet (880 meters) from pole-to-pole.

Ryugu makes one rotation every 7.63 hours and has a mass of roughly 450 million metric tons (496 million tons), yielding a calculation of the asteroid’s gravity.


Quote:It also looks like an equatorial ridge around it kinda/sorta-EA


[Image: fig1.png]

[img=679x0]https://mk0spaceflightnoa02a.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/fig1.png[/img]Scientists developed this shape model of asteroid Ryugu using data from Hayabusa 2’s laser altimeter instrument. Credit: JAXA

Scientists say Ryugu is a C-type asteroid, suggesting it contains primitive building blocks left over the formation of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago. Managed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Hayabusa 2 will bring back specimens of the asteroid’s primordial surface for analysis in sophisticated laboratories on Earth.

Hayabusa 2’s deployable asteroid landers will make a leisurely descent to Ryugu after separation from the Hayabusa 2 mothership at an altitude of around 200 feet (60 meters). Ryugu’s tenuous gravity — 80,000 times weaker than Earth’s gravity field — will gently tug on the landing probes as they make an uncontrolled free fall to the asteroid, reaching the surface at a speed of less than 1 mph (about 30 centimeters per second).

The first pair of landers to be released Sept. 21 by Hayabusa 2 are carried inside the same container. The MINERVA-II robots, which each weigh a little more than 2.4 pounds (1.1 kilograms), are designed to hop across Ryugu, using cameras, thermometers and other sensors to investigate Ryugu from the surface.

Developed by JAXA, the disk-shaped MINERVA-II landers each have a diameter of 6.7 inches (17 centimeters) — less than the width of a typical dinner plate — and stand around 2.7 inches (7 centimeters) tall. The Hayabusa 2 mothership will put the landers on a trajectory to touch down in Ryugu’s northern hemisphere.

A third MINERVA-II lander carried by Hayabusa 2 is set to be released for a landing on Ryugu next year.

[Image: minerva_2.jpg][img=768x0]https://mk0spaceflightnoa02a.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/minerva_2.jpg[/img]Artist’s illustration of the MINERVA-II robots carried by Hayabusa 2. The two probes depicted on the left side of the image will be released Sept. 21. Credit: JAXA

The mission’s largest landing craft is MASCOT — the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout — a joint project by the German and French space agencies. It’s due to be released by Hayabusa 2 on Oct. 3.

Conceived and designed by the same team that developed the Philae lander, which made the first soft landing on a comet in 2014, the MASCOT spacecraft will bounce to a rest on Ryugu somewhere in the asteroid’s southern mid-latitudes.

“It’s a very small lander,” said Tra-Mi Ho, MASCOT’s project manager at DLR, the German space agency. “It’s not bigger than a shoebox, and its weight is not more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds).”

The MASCOT lander “carries four scientific instruments,” Ho said. “There is a wide-angle camera called MASCAM. It is there to determine the geology — the means to investigate the surface features of Ryugu — and for that it will require imaging at multiple wavelengths.

“We have got a microscope,” Ho said in an Aug. 23 press briefing in Japan. “It’s a spectral microscope provided by CNES (the French space agency). It is determining the mineralogy. It determines also the content of organic materials and hydrated minerals on the surface — of the water — by investigating the spectral features.

“We have a got a thermal radiometer,” Ho continued. “It is called MARA. MARA is detecting or investigating the surface temperature of the asteroid. We have got a magnetometer as well, which is called MASMAG. It is there to determine if a magnetic filed exists in the asteroid or in the boulders.”
[Image: BlickMascot5_630.jpg]

[img=630x0]https://mk0spaceflightnoa02a.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/BlickMascot5_630.jpg[/img]A technician installs the MASCOT lander into the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft before launching to an asteroid. Credit: DLR

Billed by European scientists as Philae’s “little brother,” MASCOT carries a self-righting mechanism to orient itself after settling down on Ryugu’s surface. The autonomous lander will also try to hop to different positions on the asteroid during its planned 16-hour mission, which is limited by the capacity of the probe’s battery.

Ground teams carefully analyzed imagery and science data from Hayabusa 2 to select candidate landing sites for the MINERVA-II and MASCOT spacecraft.

Scientists wanted to ensure none of the landers end up near Hayabusa 2’s sampling target, located near Ryugu’s equator, and assessed numerous candidate landing sites to find locations relatively free of large boulders. Managers also considered temperature and communications constraints — all the landers have thermal limits and must relay data back to Earth through Hayabusa 2.

MASCOT science team members ranked their candidate landing sites during an Aug. 14 meeting in Toulouse, France, and briefed their proposal to Hayabusa 2 officials in Japan the following week. The teams announced the landing site selections for the MINERVA-II and MASCOT robots, along with the first of up to three sampling sites for Hayabusa 2, during a press conference Aug. 23.

But despite the diligence by engineers and scientists on Earth, the miniature landers must function in an extreme environment, with temperature swings and an asteroid surface marked with numerous boulders that could pose danger for the tiny robots.

“Ryugu seems to be very homogeneous, so you have got more or less the same composition everywhere,” Ho said. “Although we are happy, I think I will have sleepless nights until October,” she said. “Until we land there, we still don’t know how it looks exactly at the landing site … So the unknown boulder size distribution at the site, which is critical for MASCOT, is still imposing a risk for our mission.”

[Image: DlV-9kTUYAIzg3k.jpg][img=768x0]https://mk0spaceflightnoa02a.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/DlV-9kTUYAIzg3k.jpg[/img]Members of the MASCOT, Hayabusa 2 and MINERVA-II teams (left to right) point out their landing sites. Credit: JAXA

MASCOT was powered on for testing after Hayabusa 2’s arrival at Ryugu, confirming the robot survived its interplanetary cruise inside a carrier bay aboard the Japanese spacecraft. Hayabusa 2 launched on Dec. 3, 2014, and completed its nearly 2 billion-mile (3.2 billion-kilometer) journey to the asteroid June 27.

“MASCOT has been designed to be robust for launch, and on the asteroid, especially for landing,” Ho said. “If you consider the MASCOT landing, it’s like you drop MASCOT at roughly (a couple of inches) onto a table. So we think, from an impact point of view, it should be robust.

“However, we do not know how the asteroid looks,” Ho said. “So, for example, a very unfortunate (scenario) is MASCOT finally settles between two rocks, and it might be trapped.”

Hayabusa 2’s nano-landers will not be the first spacecraft to achieve a soft landing on an asteroid. That distinction goes to NASA’s NEAR-Shoemaker mission, which made a controlled touchdown on asteroid Eros in 2001 and unexpectedly continued beaming science data back to Earth.

But NEAR-Shoemaker did not return any asteroid images from the surface of Eros, leaving that “first” in space exploration up for grabs by MINERVA-II and MASCOT.

The Japanese-built MINERVA-II landers are based on a similar craft that flew with Japan’s Hayabusa mission to asteroid Itokawa, but that landing attempt was unsuccessful.

Hayabusa 2 is one of two sample return missions that are beginning their asteroid exploration campaigns this year. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission is scheduled to arrive at asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3, culminating in its own touch-and-go sample grab in mid-2020.
Hayabusa 2 is set to depart the asteroid in late 2019, with return to Earth scheduled for December 2020 with a parachute-assisted landing of the mission’s sample carrier in Australia.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/09/06/hayabusa-2-team-sets-dates-for-asteroid-landings/
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#19
Japan space probe drops hopping rovers towards asteroid
September 21, 2018


[Image: theroverswil.jpg]
The rovers will use the low gravity environment to hop on the asteroid's surface
A Japanese space probe Friday released a pair of exploring rovers towards an egg-shaped asteroid to collect mineral samples that may shed light on the origin of the solar system.



The "Hayabusa2" probe jettisoned the round, cookie tin-shaped robots toward the Ryugu astroid, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world's first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface.

Taking advantage of the asteroid's low gravity, they will jump around on the surface—soaring as high as 15 metres (49 feet) and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes—to survey the asteroid's physical features with cameras and sensors.

So far so good, but JAXA must wait for the Hayabusa2 probe to send data from the rovers to Earth in a day or two to assess whether the release has been a success, officials said.

"We are very much hopeful. We don't have confirmation yet, but we are very, very hopeful," Yuichi Tsuda, JAXA project manager, told reporters.

"I am looking forward to seeing pictures. I want to see images of space as seen from the surface of the asteroid," he said.

The cautious announcement came after a similar JAXA probe in 2005 released a rover which failed to reach its target asteroid.

Next month, Hayabusa2 will deploy an "impactor" that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a two-kilo (four-pound) copper object into the surface to blast a crater a few metres in diameter.

[Image: japanspacero.jpg]
This image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), shows the shadow, center left, of Japanese unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 over the asteroid Ryugu Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 released two …more
From this crater, the probe will collect "fresh" materials unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, hoping for answers to some fundamental questions about life and the universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.

The probe will also release a French-German landing vehicle named Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) for surface observation.

Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA's first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa—Japanese for falcon.

That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey and was hailed a scientific triumph.

The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Japan space probe reaches asteroid in search for origin of life


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-japan-spac...d.html#jCp


LilD


Japan space robots start asteroid survey
September 22, 2018


[Image: 1-theroverswil.jpg]
The rovers will jump around on the surface—soaring as high as 15 metres and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes
A pair of robot rovers have landed on an asteroid and begun a survey, Japan's space agency said Saturday, as it conducts a mission aiming to shed light on the origins of the solar system.



The rover mission marks the world's first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The round, cookie tin-shaped robots successfully reached the Ryugu asteroid a day after they were released from the Hayabusa2 probe, the agency said.

"Each of the rovers is operating normally and has started surveying Ryugu's surface," JAXA said in a statement.

Taking advantage of the asteroid's low gravity, the rovers will jump around on the surface—soaring as high as 15 metres (49 feet) and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes—to survey the asteroid's physical features.

"I am so proud that we have established a new method of space exploration for small celestial bodies," said JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda.

The agency tried but failed in 2005 to land a rover on another asteroid in a similar mission.

Hayabusa2 will next month deploy an "impactor" that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a two-kilo (four-pound) copper object to blast a small crater into the surface.

From this crater, the probe will collect "fresh" materials unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, hoping for answers to some fundamental questions about life and the universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.

The probe will also release a French-German landing vehicle named the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) for surface observation.

Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA's first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa—Japanese for falcon.

That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey and was hailed as a scientific triumph.

The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020.


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-japan-spac...y.html#jCp
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#20
Photos from Japanese space rovers show asteroid is ... rocky Doh
September 28, 2018


[Image: photosfromja.jpg]
This Sept. 23, 2018 image captured by Rover-1B, and provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows the surface of asteroid Ryugu. New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is (drumroll, please) ... rocky. It may be no surprise, but Japan space agency scientists and engineers are nonetheless thrilled by the images being sent to Earth by two jumping robotic rovers that they dropped onto an asteroid about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) away. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency posted the latest photos on its website late Thursday, Sept. 27. (JAXA via AP)
New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is (drumroll, please) ... rocky.



It may be no surprise, but Japan space agency scientists and engineers are nonetheless thrilled by the images being sent to Earth by two jumping robotic rovers that they dropped onto an asteroid about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) away.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency posted the latest photos on its website late Thursday. They show slightly tilted close-ups of the rocky surface from different locations.

"I cannot find words to express how happy I am that we were able to realize mobile exploration on the surface of an asteroid," project manager Yuichi Tsuda said on the space agency's website.

It took more than three years for the unmanned Hayabusa2 spacecraft to reach the vicinity of asteroid Ryugu. One week ago, the craft successfully dropped a small capsule with two rovers onto its surface. The rovers, each about the size of circular cookie tin, don't have wheels but jump around the asteroid.

Hayabusa2 is scheduled to drop a German-French lander with four observation devices onto the asteroid next week. It later will attempt to land on the asteroid itself to collect samples to send back to researchers on Earth.

[Image: 1-photosfromja.jpg]
This Sept. 23, 2018 image captured by Rover-1B, and provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows the surface of asteroid Ryugu. New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is (drumroll, please) ... rocky. It may be no surprise, but Japan space agency scientists and engineers are nonetheless thrilled by the images being sent to Earth by two jumping robotic rovers that they dropped onto an asteroid about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) away. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency posted the latest photos on its website late Thursday, Sept. 27. (JAXA via AP)
[Image: 2-photosfromja.jpg]
This Sept. 21, 2018 image taken at an altitude of about 64 meter by Hayabusa2 and provided Sept. 27 by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows the surface of asteroid Ryugu. New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is (drumroll, please) ... rocky. It may be no surprise, but Japan space agency scientists and engineers are nonetheless thrilled by the images being sent to Earth by two jumping robotic rovers that they dropped onto an asteroid about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) away. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency posted the latest photos on its website late Thursday, Sept. 27. (JAXA, The University of Tokyo and partner institutions via AP)
[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Japan space robots start asteroid survey


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-photos-jap...d.html#jCp







Four extremely young asteroid families identified
September 25, 2018 by José Tadeu Arantes, FAPESP


[Image: fourextremel.jpg]
Brazilian researchers dated the families using a numerical simulation method to process current data to go back in time to the asteroid formation era. Credit: NASA
Four families of extremely young asteroids have been identified by researchers affiliated with São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Guaratinguetá, Brazil. An article on the discovery has been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.



"We identified the new families by means of numerical simulation using the backward integration method (BIM), which is much more precise than other methods for dating asteroid families. But BIM only works for really young families that are less than 20 million years old. Until recently, only eight families had been studied by this method. We now know 13, almost a third of which were identified by our group," said Valerio Carruba, a professor in UNESP's Mathematics Department.

Carruba coordinated the research project on asteroid families conducted at the Engineering School of UNESP's campus in Guaratinguetá. The four families in question, all of which are less than 7 million years old, orbit between Mars and Jupiter as part of a grouping known as the Main Asteroid Belt.

The key dating parameters used were the longitudes of the pericenter and ascending node. For a planet, comet or asteroid moving around the Sun in an elliptical orbit, the pericenter is the point at which it comes closest to the Sun. The ascending node is the point at which the orbit crosses from the southern side of a reference plane, typically the ecliptic plane, to the northern side.

"When an asteroid family is formed, all the asteroids' pericenters and ascending nodes are aligned, but as the family evolves, the alignment is lost owing to gravitational disturbances produced by planets and possibly by some massive asteroids," Carruba explained. "Based on current data, BIM lets you go back in time using numerical simulation to reconstruct the setting in which the parameters were aligned and thereby date the asteroid family."

In addition to the four new families they themselves identified, the group studied 55 new families identified by other scientists. As well as dating the families, they established a diagram that, with considerable precision, distinguishes between families formed by collisional events and families formed by fission of a precursor body.

When two asteroids collide, one or both may fragment, giving rise to a family with several objects. Fission, on the other hand, consists of the ejection of matter by a precursor body, either because it acquired very rapid rotation on its own axis and suffered a collision or because it recently expelled a secondary body that broke up.

 

"One of the four families we identified was undoubtedly formed by a collisional event. Collision is very likely to have been the origin of another. The rest were identified very recently, and we need more studies to formulate a hypothesis regarding their formation," Carruba said.

Motion resonance

The Main Belt is an extraordinary niche of asteroids, with more than 700 known objects. The number is rising steadily thanks to improving methods of detection, and it can be estimated at million.

According to Carruba, the asteroids in the Main Belt are far from evenly distributed. Various different regions have formed within the belt owing to the highly complex gravitational interaction among so many bodies and, above all, to Jupiter's powerful gravitational field.

An important driver of this structure is a phenomenon known as "mean-motion resonance", which occurs when two bodies orbiting a third have closely matched orbital periods related by a ratio of two small integers.

The resonances create empty spaces in the radial distribution of the asteroids. They are called Kirkwood Gaps, in honor of US astronomer Daniel Kirkwood (1814-95), who identified and explained these asteroid-free zones in the Main Belt.

"Between 33% and 35% of the asteroids in the Main Belt are members of families," Carruba said. "There are over 120 recognizable families and dozens of less statistically significant groups. Large families comprise hundreds of members, whereas small families may have some ten members."

Estimates of the age of the asteroid families in the belt range from a few million to hundreds of millions of years. The origin of the oldest family has been dated to 4 billion years ago, so it participated in the first stage of the Solar System's formation.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Astronomers identify oldest known asteroid family

More information: V Carruba et al, The quest for young asteroid families: new families, new results, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/sty1810


Journal reference: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: FAPESP


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-extremely-...s.html#jCp
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#21
Touchdown! Japan space probe lands new robot on asteroid LilD
October 3, 2018


[Image: japanesespac.jpg]
This computer graphic image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, lander on the asteroid Ryugu. The Japanese unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 dropped the German-French …more
A Japanese probe landed a new observation robot on an asteroid on Wednesday as it pursues a mission to shed light on the origins of the solar system.



The French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, launched from the Hayabusa2 probe, landed safely on Ryugu and was in contact with its team, the lander's official Twitter account said.

"And then I found myself in a place like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery and danger!," the @MASCOT2018 account tweeted.

"I landed on asteroid Ryugu!"

MASCOT is expected to collect a wide range of data on the asteroid, some 300 million kilometres (190 million miles) from Earth.

"It is hugely significant to take data from the surface of an asteroid, we have high expectations for the scientific data," Hayabusa2 mission manager Makoto Yoshikawa at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) told a briefing before the landing.

The 10-kilogram (22-pound) box-shaped MASCOT is loaded with sensors. It can take images at multiple wavelengths, investigate minerals with a microscope, gauge surface temperatures and measure magnetic fields.

MASCOT's launch comes 10 days after the Hayabusa2 dropped a pair of MINERVA-II micro-rovers on the Ryugu asteroid.

It was the first time that moving, robotic observation devices have been successfully landed on an asteroid.

[Image: hayabusa2ssh.jpg]
Hayabusa2's shadow seen on the surface of the Ryugu asteroid it is studying
Solar system origins

The rovers will take advantage of Ryugu's low gravity to jump around on the surface— travelling as far as 15 metres (49 feet) and staying above the surface for as long as 15 minutes—to survey the asteroid's physical features with cameras and sensors.

Unlike those machines, MASCOT will be largely immobile—it will "jump" just once on its mission, and it can turn on its sides.

And while the rovers will spend several months on the asteroid, the MASCOT has a maximum battery life of just 16 hours, and will transmit the data it collects to the Hayabusa2 before running out of juice.

The Hayabusa2 is scheduled later this month to deploy an "impactor" that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a two-kilo copper object into it to blast a small crater on the surface.

The probe will then hover over the artificial crater and collect samples using an extended arm.

[Image: mascotslaunc.jpg]
MASCOT's launch comes 10 days after the Hayabusa2 dropped a pair of MINERVA-II micro-rovers on the Ryugu asteroid—a world first
The samples of "fresh" materials, unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, could help answer some fundamental questions about life and the universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.

Part of MASCOT's mission is to collect data that will help determine where the crater should be created.

Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA's first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa—Japanese for falcon.

That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during an epic seven-year odyssey and was hailed as a scientific triumph.

The Hayabusa2 mission, which costs around 30 billion yen ($260 million), was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Photos from Japanese space rovers show asteroid is ... rocky


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-japanese-s...d.html#jCp
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#22
"Part of MASCOT's mission is to collect data that will help determine where the crater should be created."

It doesn't look like this MASCOT image shows a decent place for the sampling crater.
Reply
#23
...

Quote:And while the rovers will spend several months on the asteroid, 
the MASCOT 
has a maximum battery life of just 16 hours


16 hours ... Hmm2 ... the Eveready Rabbit battery better find the rabbit hole fast.

geez ... that sure seems pathetic.
Budget problems?

You have to be amused by that "computer graphic image" that JAXA released of the Mascot,
{on a sandy beach somewhere on Earth},
when you look at the surface of that "rocky asteroid" .
It won't be traveling far is my guess.


Quote:MASCOT will be largely immobile—it will "jump" just  Sheep once  on its mission, 
and 
it can turn on its sides.


Well .... roll over rover and let Mascot take over ... Nonono
Perhaps I am just not able to appreciate this kind of patchwork science.
The problem with robotics prioritized exploration of the solar system,
are the demons in charge of mission priorities, and budget allocations.
They have no vision, and are mired in mediocrity.
It's Winky Tink Space Science.
Tiptoe through the TNO's.
NASA can get a spacecraft there like champs,
but are clueless about how to do anything right,
once they get there.

I can imagine aliens passing by our space science missions ... 
rolling over laughing at early 21st C. human space robotics.
You just know what the alien said ...
"what a piece of shit"

Well I still hope to be surprised with a revelation in space science,
especially with this asteroid.

Where is Ralf Holycowsmile Jauman?

He still has not explained the anomalous shape of the asteroid.

...
Reply
#24
further delay... Cry


Japan delays touchdown of Hayabusa2 probe on asteroid: official
October 11, 2018

[Image: 12-scientistsar.jpg]
Scientists are already receiving data from other machines deployed on the surface of the Ryugu asteroid
A Japanese probe sent to examine an asteroid in order to shed light on the origins of the solar system will now land on the rock several months later than planned, officials said Thursday.



The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) told reporters the Hayabusa2 probe is now expected to touch down on the Ryugu asteroid in "late January" at the earliest, rather than at the end of this month as initially expected.

JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda said they needed more time to prepare the landing as the latest data showed the asteroid surface was more rugged than expected.

"The mission... is to land without hitting rocks," Tsuda said, adding this was a "most difficult" operation.

"We had expected the surface would be smooth... but it seems there's no flat area."

Scientists are already receiving data from other machines deployed on the surface of the asteroid.

Last week, JAXA successfully landed a new 10-kilogramme (22-pound) observation robot known as MASCOT—"Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout."

Loaded with sensors, the robot can take images at multiple wavelengths, investigate minerals with a microscope, gauge surface temperatures and measure magnetic fields.

Ten days earlier, a pair of MINERVA-II micro-rovers were dropped onto the asteroid—marking the first time that moving, robotic observation devices have been successfully deployed.

[Image: thesurfaceof.jpg]
The surface of the asteroid is more rugged than scientists initially thought
These rovers are taking advantage of Ryugu's low gravity to jump around on the surface—travelling as far as 15 metres (49 feet) and staying above the surface for as long as 15 minutes—to survey the asteroid's physical features with cameras and sensors.

Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA's first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa, which is Japanese for falcon.

That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid with dust samples in 2010, despite various setbacks, during an epic seven-year odyssey hailed as a scientific triumph.

The Hayabusa2 mission, which costs around 30 billion yen ($260 million), was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020.

Photos of Ryugu—which means "Dragon Palace" in Japanese, a castle at the bottom of the ocean in an ancient Japanese tale—show an asteroid shaped a bit like a spinning top with a rough surface.

By collecting samples from the surface, scientists hope to answer some fundamental questions about life and the universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Touchdown! Japan space probe lands new robot on asteroid


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-japan-touc...d.html#jCp
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#25
Numerous boulders, many rocks, no dust: MASCOT's zigzag course across the asteroid Ryugu
October 12, 2018, German Aerospace Center

[Image: numerousboul.jpg]
MASCOT's approach to Ryugu and its path across the surface. Credit: German Aerospace Center
Six minutes of free fall, a gentle impact on the asteroid and then 11 minutes of rebounding until coming to rest. That is how, in the early hours of 3 October 2018, the journey of the MASCOT asteroid lander began on Asteroid Ryugu – a land full of wonder, mystery and challenges. Some 17 hours of scientific exploration followed this first 'stroll' on the almost 900-metre diameter asteroid. The lander was commanded and controlled from the MASCOT Control Centre at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) site in Cologne in the presence of scientific teams from Germany, France and Japan. MASCOT surpassed all expectations and performed its four experiments at several locations on the asteroid. Never before in the history of spaceflight has a Solar System body been explored in this way. It has now been possible to precisely trace MASCOT's path on Ryugu's surface on the basis of image data from the Japanese Hayabusa2 space probe and the lander's images and data.



"This success was possible thanks to state-of-the-art robotic technology, long-term planning and intensive international cooperation between the scientists and engineers of the three space nations Japan, France and Germany," says Hansjörg Dittus, DLR Executive Board Member for Space Research and Technology about this milestone in Solar System exploration. "We are proud of how MASCOT was able to master its way across the asteroid Ryugu over boulders and rocks and send so much data about its composition back to Earth," says DLR Chair Pascale Ehrenfreund.

MASCOT had no propulsion system and landed in free fall. Six minutes after separating from Hayabusa2, and following the end of a ballistic trajectory, the landing module made its first contact with asteroid Ryugu. On the surface, MASCOT moved through the activation of a tungsten swing arm accelerated and decelerated by a motor. This made it possible for MASCOT to be repositioned to the 'correct' side or even perform hops across the asteroid's surface. The gravitational attraction on Ryugu is just one 66,500th of the Earth's, so the little momentum provided was enough: a technological innovation for an unusual form of mobility on an asteroid surface used for the first time in the history of space travel as part of the Hayabusa2 mission.

Through a rock garden full of rough boulders and no flat surfaces

To reconstruct MASCOT's path across the surface of Ryugu, the cameras aboard the Hayabusa2 mother probe were aimed at the asteroid. The Optical Navigation Cameras (ONC) captured the lander's free fall in several images, detected its shadow on the ground during the flight phase, and finally identified MASCOT directly on the surface in several images. The pattern of the countless boulders distributed on the surface could also be seen in the direction of the respective horizon in oblique photographs of the lander's DLR MASCAM camera. The combination of this information unlocked the unique path traced by the lander.

After the first impact, MASCOT smoothly bounced off a large block, touched the ground about eight times, and then found itself in a resting position unfavourable for the measurements. After commanding and executing a specially prepared correction manoeuvre, MASCOT came to a second halt. The exact location of this second position is still being determined. There, the lander completed detailed measurements during one asteroid day and night. This was followed by a small 'mini-move' to provide the MicrOmega spectrometer with even better conditions for measuring the composition of the asteroid material.



Finally, MASCOT was set in motion one last time for a bigger jump. At the last location it carried out some more measurements before the third night on the asteroid began, and contact with Hayabusa2 was lost as the spaceship had moved out of line of sight. The last signal from MASCOT reached the mother probe at 21:04 CEST. The mission was over. "We were expecting less than 16 hours of battery life because of the cold night, says MASCOT project manager Tra-Mi Ho from the DLR Institute of Space Systems. "After all, we were able to operate MASCOT for more than one extra hour, even until the radio shadow began, which was a great success." During the mission, the team named MASCOT's landing site (MA-9) 'Alice's Wonderland', after the eponymous book by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898).

A true wonderland

Having reconstructed the events that took place on asteroid Ryugu, the scientists are now busy analysing the first results from the acquired data and images. "What we saw from a distance already gave us an idea of what it might look like on the surface," reports Ralf Jaumann from the DLR Institute of Planetary Research and scientific director of the MASCOT mission. "In fact, it is even crazier on the surface than expected. Everything is covered in rough blocks and strewn with boulders. How compact these blocks are and what they are composed of, we still do not know. But what was most surprising was that large accumulations of fine material are nowhere to be found – and we did not expect that. We have to investigate this in the next few weeks, because the cosmic weathering would actually have had to produce fine material," continues Jaumann.

"MASCOT has delivered exactly what we expected: an 'extension' of the space probe on the surface of Ryugu and direct measurements on site," says Tra-Mi Ho. Now there are measurements across the entire spectrum, from telescope light curves from Earth to remote sensing with Hayabusa2 through to the microscopic findings of MASCOT. "This will be of enormous importance for the characterisation of this class of asteroids," emphasises Jaumann.

Ryugu is a C-type asteroid – a carbon-rich representative of the oldest bodies of the four-and-a-half-billion year-old Solar System. It is a 'primordial' building block of planet formation, and one of 17,000 known Near-Earth asteroids.

On Earth, there are meteorites with a composition that could be similar to Ryugu's, which are found in the Murchison Range, Australia. However, Matthias Grott from the DLR Institute of Planetary Research and responsible for the radiometer experiment MARA is skeptical as to whether these meteorites are actually representative of Ryugu in terms of their physical properties: "Meteorites such as those found in Murchison are rather massive. However, our MARA data suggests the material on Ryugu is slightly more porous. The investigations are just beginning, but it is plausible to assume that small fragments of Ryugu would not survive the entry into the Earth's atmosphere intact."

About the Hayabusa2 mission and MASCOT

Hayabusa2 is a Japanese space agency (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; JAXA) mission to the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu. The German-French lander MASCOT on board Hayabusa2 was developed by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and built in close cooperation with the French space agency CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales). DLR, the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale and the Technical University of Braunschweig have contributed the scientific experiments on board MASCOT. The MASCOT lander and its experiments are operated and controlled by DLR with support from CNES and in constant interaction with the Hayabusa2 team.

The DLR Institute of Space Systems in Bremen was responsible for developing and testing the lander together with CNES. The DLR Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems in Braunschweig was responsible for the stable structure of the lander. The DLR Robotics and Mechatronics Center in Oberpfaffenhofen developed the swing arm that allows MASCOT to hop on the asteroid. Das DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin contributed the MASCAM camera and the MARA radiometer. The asteroid lander is monitored and operated from the MASCOT Control Center in the Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC) at the DLR site in Cologne.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Touchdown! Japan space probe lands new robot on asteroid

Provided by: German Aerospace Center
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#26
...
quote V

Quote:You have to be amused by that "computer graphic image" that JAXA released of the Mascot,
{on a sandy beach somewhere on Earth},
when you look at the surface of that "rocky asteroid" .
It won't be traveling far is my guess.



from the prior post by EA:
Quote:JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda said they needed more time to prepare the landing,
as the latest data
showed the asteroid surface was --- more rugged than expected.

"The mission... is to land without hitting rocks,"  Rofl
Tsuda said,
adding this was a "most difficult" operation.

"We had expected the surface would be smooth ... but it seems there's no flat area."  Doh


Not sure, Shitlock?
or
No shit, Sherlock?

"asteroid surface more rugged than expected" 

Pennywise


...
Reply
#27
...
I somewhat browsed and scanned over the pdf below,
and grabbed a couple of excerpts.
Well worth a look- see.

https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1810/1810.01815.pdf
Rubble Pile Asteroids

Quote:The moniker rubble pile Whip
 is typically applied to all solar system bodies with Diameter between 200m and 10km - 
where in this size range there is an abundance of evidence
that nearly every object is bound primarily by self-gravity with significant void

... space or bulk porosity between irregularly shaped constituent particles. 
The understanding of this population is derived from wide-ranging population studies 
of derived shape and spin, 
decades of observational studies in numerous wavelengths, 
evidence left behind from impacts on planets and moons 
and the in situ study of a few objects via spacecraft flyby or rendezvous. 
The internal structure, however, 
which is responsible for the name rubble pile, 
is never directly observed, but belies a violent history. 
Many or most of the asteroids on near-Earth orbits, 
and the ones most accessible for rendezvous and in situ study, 
are likely byproducts of the continued collisional evolution of the Main Asteroid Belt.

A key difference between a rubble pile and an intact but broken “shattered aggregate” 
is the expectation of void space  Naughty
that should be a measureable bulk porosity. 
This is far from a trivial measurement to make, 
as knowledge of both mass and volume is required, 
which is a rare set of data to have for smaller solar system bodies. 

However, where the measurements exist, 
the occurrence of asteroids with densities significantly smaller,
than the grain densities for the most similar meteorites, 
has regularly pointed to moderate to high porosities for many asteroids, 
but almost without exception for smaller asteroids.

A key trait for a rubble pile asteroid is the presence of void space, 
or macro-porosity, 
that is inferred by way of low density compared to analog meteorites 
(where any significant micro-porosity would seemingly be found in meteorite analogs). 
The first glimpse inside an asteroid is attained by way of measuring its density, 
but the bulk density calculation for an asteroid requires its mass and volume. .
The mass itself can only be measured in a few ways with the most widely used being orbital deflections, 
where asteroids can alter the orbits of other asteroids (see Carry et al. 2012). 
This can attain accuracies of a few percent for the largest asteroids 
but rapidly decreases in accuracy for smaller sizes.

What would be the source of cohesion in a rubble pile? 
If the primary “grain” size is related to the 200-300m size regime,
where rapid spin rates start to be observed, 
then one could assume that this is a fundamental building block size (Walsh & Richardson 2006). 
Simple dry cohesive bonding
by way of Van Der Waals force increases with decreasing grain sizes and would have no affect on such large rocks.
However, images of asteroid Itokawa and inferences from thermal inertia data find that surfaces of rubble
piles are covered with a wide range of much smaller grain sizes (Fujiwara et al. 2006, Delbo et al. 2015).
If fine grains are also abundant in the interior of rubble piles then they could act as a sort of concrete with
which to bind the larger constituent pieces of the rubble pile (Sánchez & Scheeres 2014). As the cohesion
increases so do the spin limits for small asteroids in particular, with those ~km and smaller potentially
experiencing faster allowable spin rates - such that the spin limit (Figure 2) would show a gradual increase
in allowed spin rate at a large size depending on the cohesion limits. For example, 3 kPa of cohesion
would permit 1km bodies to rotate faster than a 1hr period - which is not observed. Rather 100 Pa
provides a comfortable envelope around the current set of observations (Sánchez & Scheeres 2014).
In order to make a strong case that a given body demands cohesion to explain its shape and spin
requires accurate data on all of density, axis ratios and spin period


...
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