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Launched in December for a 2018 rendezvous with an asteroid, Hayabusa-2 has successfully completed its initial check-out according to Japanese officials.
Checkups on early-phase functionality are being carried out over a three-month period. Although the first Hayabusa had suffered malfunctions of its ion engines, it is confirmed that the four ion engines of Hayabusa-2 are functioning properly, JAXA said. Kuninaka said: “With the engines functioning, the explorer can set out on its voyage with a lot of leeway. I feel like, ‘Way to go!’”