“Hayabusa 2” asteroid exploration and return to Earth
The Japanese spacecraft "Hayabusa 2" has started full-scale flight using the main engine, aiming to return to the earth about a year later.
The Japanese probe “Hayabusa 2”, which has completed the exploration of the asteroid “Ryugu” for about a year and a half, departed from the asteroid toward the Earth on the 13th of last month and conducted a test operation of the main engine, the ion engine. It was.
And since all four ion engines were confirmed to work properly, we started full-scale injection at 11am on the 3rd and started flying toward the earth.
Hayabusa2 is currently at a distance of more than 250 million kilometers from the Earth, and reached the vicinity of the earth from November to December next year, about a year later, and rock fragments of Ryugu entered. The plan is to separate the capsules that can be seen and drop them into the Australian desert.
The collected rock fragments will be distributed mainly to researchers in Japan and will be analyzed around the summer of next year.