Hayabusa-2 touchdown images released


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Surface of Ryugu 1 minute after touchdown

The Hayabusa-2 science team today released images taken during its quick touchdown on the asteroid Ryugu last week.

The image to the right was taken:

roughly 1 minute after touchdown at an estimated altitude of about 25m (error is a few meter) [80 feet]. The color of the region beneath the spacecraft’s shadow differs from the surroundings and has been discolored by the touchdown. At the moment, the reason for the discoloration is unknown but it may be due to the grit that was blown upwards by the spacecraft thrusters or bullet (projectile).

The image proves that everything on Hayabusa-2 worked as planned, and it almost certainly captured some of that grit.

They are going to do at least two more touchdowns before they have Hayabusa-2 leave Ryugu and head back to Earth.

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3 comments

  • Ken Franks

    Has it been considered that the effects of the landing thrust itself altered the a property of the surface materials? (Heat and/ or pressure)

  • Dick Eagleson

    Yes it has. Heat, pressure and combustion products of hypergolic propellants. Among the pictures released were some from before the landing that don’t show any stains on the surface and some from after the landing which do show such stains.

  • Paulie Bee

    Wonder if the force from the thrusters changed it’s course or trajectory.

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