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Japan’s Hayabusa2 Mission set to return back to Earth

  • IASbaba
  • December 7, 2020
  • 0
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Japan’s Hayabusa2 Mission set to return back to Earth

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space

In news

  • Six years after Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission was launched, it is set to return back to Earth.
  • It will be carrying samples from the Ryugu asteroid that orbits the Sun.

Key takeaways

  • The Hayabasu2 mission was launched in December 2014.
  • The spacecraft was sent on a six-year-long voyage to study the asteroid Ryugu and collect samples.
  • NASA’s OSIRIS-REX mission also brought back samples from asteroid Bennu late in October, 2020.
  • According to the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), this is the first time that a probe has visited a celestial body that is less than 100 metres in diameter.

Important value addition

  • Ryugu is classified as a Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs). 
  • It was discovered in 1999.
  • It was given the name by the Minor Planet Center in 2015. 
  • It is 300 million kilometres away from Earth. 
  • It took Hayabusa2 over 42 months to reach it.
  • Hayabasu2’s predecessor, the Hayabusa mission brought back samples from the asteroid Itokawa in 2010.

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