Probe MASCOT was successfully launched station “Hayabusa-2” to the asteroid. His work will help to learn more about the origin of the Solar system.
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The Franco-German machine Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) successfully descended to near-earth asteroid Ryugu. After that, the unit made contact with his team, reported on Twitter the lander.
“And then I realized that we are not on Earth. The world is full of wonders, mysteries and dangers! – posted by MASCOT. I sank to the asteroid Ryugu!”
Being at a distance of about 300 million kilometers from Earth, the probe should collect on the asteroid a wide range of data.
“It is extremely important to collect data from the asteroid’s surface: we have big expectations out of this,” says the Manager of the mission “Hayabusa-2” between Yoshikawa Makoto.
The Ryugu made by the probe MASCOT during descent / © Hayabusa2 JAXA
Desyatiballnoy box probe MASCOT equipped with multiple sensors. It can take pictures at different wavelengths to examine the minerals using the microscope, measure the surface temperature and to measure the magnetic field.
The descent of the probe MASCOT held ten days after the start of the mission two microrovers MINERVA-II. This was the first successful landing of a moving robotic observation devices on the asteroid. Rovers move around the asteroid leaps, covering distances up to 15 meters at a time, exploring the physical properties of the asteroid using cameras and sensors.
Unlike MINERVA-II, MASCOT will be mostly stationary. He’s going to jump only once for the whole mission. In addition, it can roll from one side to the other. Despite the fact that the Rover will spend at the asteroid several months, the battery MASCOT is only rated for 16 hours of work. Before he would use up all the energy, the probe will transmit the received data to the station “Hayabusa-2”.
Later this month the “Hayabusa-2” should trigger the “impactor” that will explode above the asteroid, shot him five-pound copper object to create on the surface of a small crater. After that, the station will crash on an artificial crater and collect samples with the mechanical arms.
Samples of fresh material not subjected to the millennial influence of wind and radiation, can answer some fundamental questions about life and the Universe, including the question of how did the elements from space to engender life on Earth. At the same time, part of the mission MASCOT — collecting data that will help determine the best place to create the crater.
The mission of “Hayabusa-2” was launched in December 2014 and must return to Earth with samples gathered at the Ryuga, in 2020.