The magazine MAQ September 2018 MAQ Magazine November 2018 - Page 274

3 october 2018

The small asteroid lander, MASCOT

MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) is the asteroid lander jointly developed by DLR (German Aerospace Center) and CNES (French National Center for Space Studies). MASCOT is stored on the -Y-plane side of Hayabusa2 (this is the left-hand side surface when the high gain antenna is at the head and the ion engine is at the spacecraft back) and deployed from this position.

Illustration of the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. MASCOT is stored on the -Y-plane (left side) panel.(Image credit:JAXA)

MASCOT has the shape of a cuboid with dimensions 0.3 x 0.3 x 0.2m. The lander weighs about 10kg, and is a bit larger and heavier than the MINERVA-II1 rovers (diameter: 18cm, height: 7cm, weight: 1.1kg).

Using a motor to rotate a swing-arm within the lander, MASCOT can change its attitude or jump. Since MASCOT is designed to operate in the position where the top antenna is directed upwards and the spectroscopic microscope faces downwards,