Image taken by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft after the second sampling procedure.
(Image: © JAXA, Tokyo University, Kochi University, Rikio University, Nagoya University, Chiba Technical Institute, Miji University, Aizu University and AIST)
, which will carry its precious cosmic cargo back to Earth to prepare for the release of the Ruegu asteroid later this year.
This is just one step completed by the JAXA spacecraft as the agency focuses on the mission return phase.
Hayabusa2 completed its second and final sampling maneuver in July. The probable completion of the endeavor means that the spacecraft storage mechanism for the spacecraft's three chambers is filled, with fragments of rock both from the surface and from inside Rugu.
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During surgery today (August 26), the sample catcher is stored in the re-entry capsule (see figure). Sampling teams and capsules gathered to monitor and the operation was successful. The capsule is now ready to return to Earth! pic.twitter.com/xKmBcD5G6g1919909012 -31 August 26, 2019
Today (26 August) JAXA confirmed that the sampling chamber was already stored in the re-entry capsule, which would be the only part of the spacecraft return to Earth. This capsule is due to arrive at the end of 2020.
On its return journey, the re-entry capsule will break through the Earth's atmosphere to land in the protected area of Woomera in the backstage of the South. Australia. Japan is working with Australia to obtain permission to install an antenna to track the location of the capsule and collect the capsule there, according to JAXA.
Earlier this month, JAXA also heard from one of two small jumping rovers placed by Hayabusa2 on Ryugu's surface in September. According to JAXA print materials, both bunkers woke up; the mission team is considering what to do with them.
The main spacecraft Hayabusa2 carries another small rover called the MINERVA-II2, which the team plans to deploy later this fall; rehearsal is scheduled for September 5.
This deployment is the final mission of the spacecraft before returning back to Earth for a year-round voyage to carry its precious space rock cargo home to scientists awaiting special delivery in 2020.