Japan's Hayabusa2 probe successfully landed on an asteroid, again (updated)

Back in April the spacecraft blew a small crater in the asteroid Ryugu.

Sponsored Links

Richard Lawler
July 11th, 2019
ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Back in February, Japan's second asteroid-exploring spacecraft touched down on the asteroid Ryugu to collect samples that it will bring back to Earth. Tonight, Hayabusa2 is making its final sample collection attempt, where it will try to collect material that was exposed by a crater it created with explosives back in April. It will once again try to quickly land, fire a tantalum bullet into the asteroid's surface and grab some of the dust that gets kicked up -- all in about one second.

Assuming all goes well, the plan is to eventually deploy the Minerva II2 rover, and then begin its year-long journey back to Earth around November or December.

We won't have video of the events from Ryugu to watch live, but there is a feed from mission control where you can see their reaction as it all goes down starting at 8:30 PM ET.

Update: JAXA has confirmed touchdown and that Hayabusa2 lifted off again, and confirmed the mission is a success.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget