Japan’s ‘Hayabusa2’ snaps asteroid Ryugu

Recently, ‘Hayabusa2’, Japan’s spacecraft, reached near the asteroid, Ryugu, and clicked some of the finest pictures. The snapshots of the rock-strewn body of Ryugu are up till now the topmost, and the quality of the snaps would get much better with time. In June 2014, Japan launched ‘Hayabusa2’. On June 27, when ‘Hayabusa2’ would be 20 kilometers above Ryugu, the exploration would drop three rovers and a lander on the rocky surface of the asteroid. The rover and the lander would be helpful in generating more samples and details to know more about the surface of the asteroid, Ryugu. The information collected recently explored that Ryugu is a heavenly body whose surface is full of craters and dents and substantial angles. Ryugu rotates in the opposite direction and rotates perpendicular to its orbit. It revolves entirely around its orbit every 7.5 hours.

The recent study also reveals that Ryugu resembles Bennu. Bennu is the asteroid of US ORISIS-Rex mission. Ryugu also seems much akin to European mission, MarcoPolo-R’s asteroid which was named 2008 EV5. It's peculiar as per the study that the surface of these different asteroids looks same. Differences also exist among these asteroids. Both Bennu and 2008 EV5 rotate faster than Ryugu. The composition of both the asteroids is too simple. For scientists, it is an essential and fascinating discovery. They would try to decipher the reasons behind the similar shapes of the asteroids with various similarities and dissimilarities.

Soon the spacecraft, Hayabusa, would hit the asteroid, Ryugu. It would be hit with an impactor to create an artificial crater on the rocky surface of Ryugu. The spacecraft can quickly go about collecting the information about the material present below the surface of the crater. The entire probe would end in 2020 when the shuttle would come back home, Planet Earth. It would also bring with it samples for further research and explorations. The study relies on the proper mapping of Ryugu. A proper survey of the asteroid can help scientists select the most critical areas and places on the rough surfaces of the asteroid. Once the appearance of Ryugu is made feasible, planning the whole project further would become more comfortable. According to Makota Yoshikawa, there are limited landing sites present at the equator of Ryugu. Makota Yoshikawa is the manager for the Japanese Space Agency JAXA’s mission. He believes that they will soon find proper locations for the lander and the rovers.