The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2since launching in December 201
When we say we shoot, we mean it in a basketball sense. The rover is basketball, and Hayabusa2 hits a 3.20 foot 3.20 shot. This is a parking shot, and they do it in a delayed park. Impressive, but will the basket make?
Hayabusa2 carries a MINERVA-II2 capsule that contains the rover itself. This rover, built by Tohoku University in Japan, is designed for short stays on the surface of an asteroid. It's only about 6 inches wide and as tall, but cylindrical, lightweight the rover contains several cameras, except an accelerometer and a thermometer, to do surface science.
Members of the Japanese space agency JAXA previously reported bugs with the MINERVA-II2 rover. In November 2018, Elizabeth Tasker told the Planetary Society that "communication between the rover and the spacecraft was normal, but the CPU did not respond." This raises the possibility that the rover will not be able to collect data and return it for analysis by Hayabusa2 and Earth.
However, JAXA still decided to move forward, and on Wednesday a rover was deployed by Hayabusa2 at an altitude of one kilometer (0.62 miles) from the surface. Now on the way to Ruegue.
Scientists at JAXA celebrated separation with fist pumps and smiles, but now the mission is to safely bring the rover to the surface.
A review of the mission provided by JAXA shows the operation in more detail. According to JAXA plans, the rover should go down to the surface by October 8. Even if the rover fails to transmit Hayabusa2 data, it will still perform a crucial function. When it descends to the surface of Rügu, it will help JAXA scientists make a more accurate estimate of the gravitational field of the asteroid. It will also provide the agency with data on the separation of small surface probes.