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Hayabusa2 craterlet inspection

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:05 am
by brian livesey
The mobile camera left by Hayabusa2, which is hovering over the site where a small impactor was fired at the surface of asteroid Ryugu on April 4 to make a craterlet, has imaged the craterlet for the first time. The image reveals darker underlying material that now awaits sampling from the probe itself, which is still parked on the other side of Ryugu:
"The exact size and shape of the artificial crater will be examined in detail in the future," said a JAXA team member, " but we can see that terrain of an area about 20m ( 66ft ) has changed. We did not expect such a big alteration, so a lively debate has been initiated in the project."
Hayabusa2 is planned to touch down on Ryugu for rock sampling in May. The probe will then start its return to Earth between November and December, arriving here in 2020.