Our home planet and its moon are but specks against the vast blackness of space in this image from the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2. The robotic explorer is currently flying past the Earth to redirect its trajectory into the main asteroid belt.
The target for the asteroid retrieval mission Hayabusa2 now has a name! Ryugu is leaving the undersea world of myth to take up residence in the main asteroid belt just in time to welcome a swarm of robotic visitors in 2018.
Someone mentioned in Twitter that Japan's Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Center looks like the lair of a Bond villain. And indeed it does: Check out the photo I found while searching for information about Hayabusa 2, JAXA's second mission to retrieve asteroid material.
Japan’s space agency just launched Hayabusa2, an ambitious deep space mission to land on an asteroid, smack it with an interceptor, collect and return samples, and deploy rovers. After a multi-day weather delay, the rocket blasted off a scene seaside spaceport, carrying Hayabusa2 and a collection of opportunistic…
While the rest of the world has been busy shedding a bitter tear over the early demise of Europe's comet-sampling probe, the Japan Space Agency has been busy launching another mission to sample distant celestial bodies.
What do the Space Battle Yamato, the Super-Dimensional Fortress Macross and the Hayabusa-2 space module in common? They all have giant space cannons, or at least all they will shortly. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has tested a weapon which they will add to the module and launch next year.