Japan’s Hayabusa2 Mission set to return back to Earth
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space
- 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.
- 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.
- Hayabusa2 probe: Click here