The Japanese space agency has announced a follow-up to their successful Hayabusa spacecraft.
The new mission is expected to launch in 2014 and will target an asteroid called "1999 JU3" in an effort to learn more about the origin and evolution of the solar system. Like its predecessor, Hayabusa2 will attempt to gather samples from the asteroid but this time the team hope to use a "collision device" to produce an artificial crater and sample the less weathered material below the surface.
The spacecraft will take four years to reach its target which means the rendezvous will take place in 2018. It will stay at the asteroid for one-and-a-half years before departing in 2019 and returning home to the Earth by 2020.
"Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” is a successor of “Hayabusa” (MUSES-C), which revealed several new technologies and returned to Earth in June 2010."
View: Full article | Source: JAXA
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