Ready for Launch
Engineers with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency work on Hayabusa2 as the asteroid probe is attached to its H-2A rocket ahead of a Dec. 3, 2014 (JST) launch target at the Tanegashima Space Center.
Germany's Mascot Lander for Hayabusa2
Integration of Germany’s Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) asteroid lander, being readied to fly on Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission. To land on the asteroid 1999 JU3 in 2018.
An artist's illustration of Hayabusa2 releasing a probe for a close-up study of the asteroid 1999 JU3.
The Hayabusa2 spacecraft is designed to collect samples of asteroid 1999 JU3 after blasting an artificial crater into the space rock using an impactor.
Hayabusa2: Step by Step
This series of images shows the different stages of Japan's Hayabusa2 mission during its 6-year flight.
This image shows Hayabusa2's MASCOT asteroid lander (lower right) built by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and French space agency CNES to investigate 1999 JU3.
Hayabusa2 will release a probe to crash into asteroid 1999 JU3 with the goal of creating an artificial crater in the asteroid's surface.
This artist's illustration depicts the moment of impact when the Hayabusa2 probe's impactor strikes asteroid 1999 JU3, a major milestone of the mission.
Japan's Hayabusa2 Spacecraft Revealed
Japan unveils the Hayabusa2 asteroid probe on Dec. 26, 2012, during an event at JAXA's Sagamihara Campus. The spacecraft will launch in 2014 to collect samples of the asteroid 1999 JU3.
Like its predecessor Hayabusa, the Hayabusa2 mission carries a sample-return capsule to return asteroid pieces to Earth. Here, the capsule is released for its homeward journey, something scientists will eagerly await in late 2020.