The magazine MAQ September 2018 MAQ Magazine November 2018 - Page 267

MAQ/November 2018 / 07

The Small Monitor Camera (CAM-H). Image credit: JAXA.

In order to construct this shape, the orbit of the spacecraft must be accurately predicted. The accuracy is currently several hundred meters. That the position of a spacecraft 300 million km away from Earth can be determined to within hundreds of meters is impressive, but this error is still too big to describe the shape of the 900m diameter Ryugu [*]. Scientists are improving the trajectory of the spacecraft using the distance measurement data from the laser altimeter. The improved orbital data of the spacecraft also aids the other equipment teams on Hayabusa2 and is being used to select the best landing site.

The Small Monitor Camera (CAM-H). Image credit: JAXA.