The magazine MAQ September 2018 MAQ Magazine November 2018 - Page 294

3 December 2014

Hayabusa2 was launched

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched their “Asteroid Explorer” spacecraft, Hayabusa 2. It was launched aboard the Mitsubishi-built H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 out of the Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island. The spacecraft is now headed to collect samples from the near-Earth asteroid dubbed “1999 JU3.”

Prior to launch there had been two previous delays due to weather with the first cropping up on Friday, Nov. 29 as a freezing layer of clouds were predicted to form over the launch pad during launch day on Nov. 30. JAXA proceeded to announce a no-earlier-than (NET) date of Dec. 1, though it was again postponed until Dec. 3 due to additional weather concerns in the region. Late Saturday night JAXA officials held a go/no go meeting to conclude that strong winds would exceed the launch restrictions for that day.