Japan's Hayabusa2 Reaches Target Asteroid

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, June 27 (Jiji Press)--Japanese asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 reached its target, Ryugu, on Wednesday morning, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said the same day.

At 9:35 a.m. (12:35 a.m. GMT), Hayabusa2 positioned itself at a fixed reference point 20 kilometers above the near-Earth asteroid, according to JAXA.

For about a year and a half through the end of 2019, the probe will carry out observations of Ryugu. It will return to Earth at the end of 2020.

As Ryugu is thought to contain water and organic matter, its observations are expected to help explain the origin of life on Earth.

The asteroid, which revolves around the sun between the orbits of Earth and Mars, has a diameter of about 900 meters. Its rotational period is about 7.5 hours.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press