Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” clarifies the origin and evolution of solar system as well as life matter. It will be establishing deep space exploration technology and new challenges.

ARASE (ERG:Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace) HISAKI

Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” is a successor of “Hayabusa” (MUSES-C), which revealed several new technologies and returned to Earth in June 2010.
While establishing a new navigation method using ion engines, Hayabusa brought back samples from the asteroid “Itokawa” to help elucidate the origin of the solar system. Hayabusa2 will target a C-type asteroid “Ryugu” to study the origin and evolution of the solar system as well as materials for life by leveraging the experience acquired from the Hayabusa mission.
To learn more about the origin and evolution of the solar system, it is important to investigate typical types of asteroids, namely S-, C-, and D-type asteroids. A C-type asteroid, which is a target of Hayabusa2, is a more primordial body than Itokawa, which is an S-type asteroid, and is considered to contain more organic or hydrated minerals -- although both S- and C- types have lithologic characteristics. Minerals and seawater which form the Earth as well as materials for life are believed to be strongly connected in the primitive solar nebula in the early solar system, thus we expect to clarify the origin of life by analyzing samples acquired from a primordial celestial body such as a C-type asteroid to study organic matter and water in the solar system and how they coexist while affecting each other.

Name Hayabusa2
Target body Ryugu (C-type, Near Earth Object)
Launch Date December 3, 2014
Launch Location Tanegashima Space Center
Launch Vehicle H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.26
Mass Approx. 600kg
Orbit Round trip between Earth and an asteroid
Scheduled arrival at destination 2018
Scheduled return to Earth 2020
Duration of stay at the asteroid about 18 months
Major onboard instruments Sampler mechanism, Re-entry capsule, Laser ranging (LIDAR, light detection and ranging), Scientific mission equipment (near infrared and thermal infrared), Impactor, Rover (MINERVA-II)