The magazine MAQ September 2018 MAQ Magazine November 2018 - Page 292


JAXA’s Hayabusa 2 in “good health” en route to asteroid

The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 recently completed an initial check of its functions on Mar 3, three months after its launch on Dec 3, 2014, from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island. Dubbed the “Asteroid Explorer” by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the probe is currently en route towards the near-Earth asteroid 1999 JU3. Hayabusa 2 is scheduled to reach the designated asteroid by mid-2018 where it will then land to collect samples to return to Earth by late 2020.

JAXA has stated that Hayabusa 2 is “ in good health” and that the spacecraft will remain in its current preparatory operational state as it prepares to swing back by the Earth around Nov. or Dec. of 2015.


The direction of the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft as viewed from the Earth (night sky view). Image Credit: JAXA