Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The Hayabusa-2 science team has released a video taken of the spacecraft’s quick touchdown and sample grab on the asteroid Ryugu.
I have embedded the video below the fold. It not only shows the incredible rockiness of Ryugu’s surface, with the spacecraft barely missing a large rock as it came down, it also clearly shows the resulting debris cloud and surface changes after touchdown and the firing of Hayabusa-2’s projectile into the surface to throw up material that the spacecdraft could catch. You can actually see pebbles flying about below and around the spacecraft as it quickly retreats.
The Hayabusa-2 science team plans another touchdown in the next few months, this time using a different technique to disturb the surface and grab the resulting ejecta.