The Japanese Hayabusa-2 spacecraft continues its deployment of remote-control systems onto the asteroid Ryuga (see earlier posting here about deployment of two micro-rovers). On Wednesday the spacecraft released the MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) lander, which was built by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the French Space Agency (CNES).
— MASCOT Lander (@MASCOT2018) October 3, 2018
MASCOT has four primary scientific tools to study the surface of the small asteroid:
- MicrOmega – a hyperspectral infrared microscope to analyze the mineralogical properties of the surface materials.
- MASCAM – “a multispectral wide field camera to provide geological images of the asteroid”.
- MARA – a radiometer “to determine the surface temperature and the thermal inertia of the asteroid”.
- MASMAG – a magnetometer, which measures magnetic field strength.
This video previewed the MASCOT mission, which lasted about 17 hours before its batteries ran out:
Artist’s view of the deployment of MASCOT:
The target area for the MASCOT “landing”:
- Hayabusa 2: German-led lander drops to asteroid’s surface – BBC News
- Live coverage: MASCOT lander begins exploring asteroid Ryugu – Spaceflight Now
- haya2kun (@haya2kun) | Twitter