Japan's Hayabusa2 Asteroid Sample-Return Mission Explained (Infographic)
By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist |
Hayabusa means "peregrine falcon" in Japanese. The Hayabusa2 probe is an ambitious mission to make three separate landings on an asteroid, drop rovers and experiments onto its surface, and return a capsule containing asteroid samples to Earth.
Hayabusa2's target is the C-type (carbonaceous) asteroid 1999 JU3. Landing is planned for June 2018. A capsule containing asteroid samples shoud be returned to Earth in December 2020.
Hayabusa2 carries backups of hardware that failed on the first Hayabusa, helping to ensure a successful return of asteroid samples. The probe also carries a lander and a pair of rovers for exploring the asteroid’s surface. An explosive impact device (SCI) allows Hayabusa to study the asteroid’s composition from a safe distance.
Karl's association with SPACE.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. Starting in 2010, Karl has been TechMediaNetwork's infographics specialist across all editorial properties. Before joining SPACE.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web. He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Karl on Google+.