The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 probe completed its final maneuvers towards the Ryugu asteroid and finally arrived at its target.
The Japanese space probe completed its last maneuver on June 22nd, when it was just 45 kilometers away from the Ryugu asteroid, previously known as the 1999 JU3. Hayabusa 2 has moved into its final descent orbit, and now it finally arrived at the Ryugu asteroid.
On the other hand, the JAXA Hayabusa 2 is the second Japanese probe to study an asteroid.
Thus, this is the second time in history that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has ever attempted to study an asteroid. The first Hayabusa probe returned to Earth in 2010 after having been able to take samples from the asteroid Itokawa.
The Hayabusa 2 mission will help scientists learn more about the history of the Universe and life on Earth
Hayabusa 2 took off from the Tanegashima Space Center in December 2014 aboard an H-IIA rocket. The probe has the mission to study Ryugu asteroid, one of the Apollo asteroids, a group of space rocks close to the Earth that are considered primitive rocky objects which can hold precious information about early Universe.
Ryugu asteroid, according to the Japanese space probe’s images, is a diamond-shaped space rock that will get examined and sampled by Hayabusa 2.
Now, that the space probe reached its destination, it will soon begin analyzing Ryugu asteroid’s composition.
JAXA Hayabusa 2 will remain on Ryugu for a year and a half, and the information it will collect in the meantime will help scientists learn more about the history and evolution of the solar system, as well as the origin of life on Earth.
The Japanese Hayabusa 2 mission will also collect three samples of the space rock to bring them home somewhen after 2020 when it’s scheduled to take off from the Ryugu asteroid to head towards Earth.