Hayabusa2 Aborts Attempt to Drop Marker near Asteroid Crater

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, May 16 (Jiji Press)--Japan's unmanned space probe Hayabusa2 on Thursday aborted its attempt to drop a target marker to a location near a crater it blasted open on the asteroid Ryugu.

The operation was part of the preparations for a possible landing of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's probe near the artificial crater, located close to the asteroid's equator.

Hayabusa2 automatically stopped its descent toward the asteroid when it reached an altitude of about 50 meters from the surface, JAXA said.

After the halt, the probe switched to an ascent without dropping the marker, the agency said, adding that the craft is in normal condition.

Under JAXA's plan, Hayabusa2 was to descend to an altitude of about 10 meters to drop the marker.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press