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Japan prepares for new asteroid mission

Posted on Friday, 29 March, 2013 | Comment icon 1 comment | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: JAXA / Akihiro Ikeshita

 
Japan's Hayabusa 2 spacecraft will by the country's second attempt at an asteroid sample return mission.

Engineers have rushed to redesign the rock-collector and science payloads of the spacecraft following issues with the original Hayabusa mission which limited the amount of material it was able to collect. It also suffered from a fuel leak, battery issues, communication failures and a problem with its ion engines during it's mission which launched in 2003.

With Hayabusa 2 the space agency is hoping to avoid the faults that crippled its predecessor when it launches in 2014. The 1,320-pound probe will head for asteroid 1999 JU3 which it should reach in 2018, then after an 18-month stay will return to the Earth, arriving home by 2020 carrying a cargo of valuable samples for study.

"Japanese engineers hurriedly redesigned the rock-collector and science payloads on the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft set to launch on an asteroid-sampling mission in late 2014, hoping to trump a problem which limited the load of asteroid rock fragments brought home by a preceding mission."

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 Source: Spaceflight Now


  Discuss: View comments (1)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by highdesert50 on 30 March, 2013, 12:22
JAXA did an amazing job of salvaging the last mission. Wishing them well on their current endeavor.




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