Hayabusa2 has started its descent to Ryugu



latest image Received time: UTC 2018-09-20 19:55


their website has a bunch of live info about the space craft as it’s operating… like power consumption, which antenna’s it’s using, data bitrate, and more.



Really close now.

Received time: UTC 2018-09-21 04:09


So 1 lander at least should be on the surface now.


Wish they’d give us some distance information. Guess we’ll have to figure it out ourselves.

Solar panel dimensions are 6 m × 4.23 m. That’s 21 pixels = 4.23 m in the above image (512x512 pixels). That gives us 20.14 cm per pixel.

The ONC-W1 has a 65.24°×65.24° field of view. So, that’s 32.62° for half the image (256 pixels = 51.56 meters)… tan = o/a implies:
distanceToTarget = 51.56 m / tan 32.62° = 80.6 meters.



Yeah they’d been giving altitude for each image except those last two… then it was just “here we come!!”


Really looking forward to surface images. Maybe it took one of Hayabusa outbound, that’d be pretty sweet. NEAR Shoemaker’s images just before touchdown in 2001 were pretty good, I can only imagine MINERVA II’s images should be even more spectacular.


HA! spot on:



The time it takes to rendezvous with any asteroids takes many years, which makes me wonder if focusing on the moon for resources is our best option right now.


I’m really sorry this didn’t make it into the show this week - that last picture is stunning! Needs to get into 11.38 …


I’m really sorry this isn’t getting much coverage in general. Hayabusa’s lander tweet had around 3k retweets, while New Horizons first image of Pluto had about 40k and the Huygans landing on Titan has only racked up about 5 million lifetime views (most of that coming a decade after the fact). Compare that to instantaneous TV ratings of 125 million (almost 100% US viewer share) during the 1st moon landing. Perhaps this goes to show the importance of the “human connection”, and is one of the answers to “Why humans instead of robots?”.

Little Timmy looks at that drone photo and says, “One day, I’m gonna grow up to be just like that expendable probe!”



Absolutely breathtaking data coming back.


Scott Manley video on the recent developments.


It kind of looks like crystal grain boundaries in the bottom right corner of the video. Metals? Salts?


It’s descending to deploy another “rover” ( MASCOT )


Isn’t MASCOT battery powered? So it wont last like the MIVERA-II hoppers seem to be so far.