Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Japan Space

Hayabusa 2 Asteroid Probe Postponed By Weather Until Early December 24

As reported by The Register, Japan's Hayabusa 2 mission to mine (or at least sample) an asteroid, which was to have been launched Saturday, has been delayed by weather, until a time no earlier than Monday, Dec. 1st (and from JAXA's web site, it appears that Dec. 3rd is the current target): If all goes to plan, the space probe will lift off next month and fly out to asteroid 1999JU3 by mid-2018 using ion engines. The craft will orbit the rock before dropping a bomb onto the surface. The resulting blast should leave a hole [in] the asteroid. The probe will then land and dig around in the rubble for material from below the surface using a "sampler horn". The probe will then take off again and head for home carrying its booty, and is due to return in 2020 or slightly later.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hayabusa 2 Asteroid Probe Postponed By Weather Until Early December

Comments Filter:
  • A 4-day delay on a 6-year mission? Not even worth it anymore, just scrap the thing. Asteroids will be old news 4 days after the original return date.
  • The first Hayabusa [wikipedia.org] mission, also by the Japanese space agency, successfully returned a small amount of material taken from the surface of a comet. Blasting to extract some more material seems likely to add additional scientific data, while building on technology and a mission profile that has already been successfully used once.

    • by Trepidity ( 597 )

      Whoops, I mis-typed: of course, it was from the surface of an asteroid, not comet. Same as with this mission.

      There has actually been one sample-return mission to a comet, NASA's Stardust [wikipedia.org], but it didn't land on it.

  • by spiritplumber ( 1944222 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @07:06AM (#48490091) Homepage
    So you could call it an ion-engine bomber? (And now I'm off to try to recreate this mission in KSP).
  • Best of luck (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Sunday November 30, 2014 @08:27AM (#48490249)
    At least more luck than Akatsuki, missed Venus orbit [wikipedia.org], and Nozomi, missed Mars orbit. [wikipedia.org]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      At least Akatsuki will get a second try at Vevus capture.

Loose bits sink chips.