A Japanese probe took a snapshot of its own shadow on the surface of an asteroid


The Japanese probe Hayabusa 2 began on September 12 its attempt to approach the asteroid Ryugu, distant from the Earth 300 million km. However, this test was not completely successful. The Japanese probe Hayabusa 2 conducted a test dive to the asteroid Ryugu to prepare for its future landing and sampling at the end of October. Nevertheless, this test had to be stopped before its end.
Photo taken by the Japanese probe Hayabusa
Instead of reaching an altitude of less than 40 meters from the surface of the asteroid, Hayabusa 2 automatically stopped its descent to 600 meters. The problem was that the laser altimeter (Lidar) was no longer able to measure the distance from the probe to the asteroid because of the low reflectance of the Ryugu surface.
 A Japanese probe took a snapshot of its own shadow on the surface of an asteroid
Hayabusa 2 is now back to its original orbit, 20 km above sea level. The test mission, although stopped before term, nevertheless allowed the probe to take many shots of the surface of Ryugu to determine the feasibility of the future landing.
Now, the descent procedure and the operation of the probe will be reviewed by the Hayabusa mission engineers in accordance with the specifics of the asteroid Ryugu.