Japan Geoscience Union announcement concerning the successful touchdown of the Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa 2 on an asteroid
22 Feb 2019
Today the Japanese asteroid explorer Hayabusa 2 successfully touched down on the asteroid Ryugu. The pinpoint touchdown on a smooth patch of little more than 6 m2 on the rubbly surface consisting of large and small of clumps of rock is both a success story for precision guidance and navigation and an epoch-making event for planetary exploration. In addition to the touchdown, mission control has confirmed the completion of a series of activities including the firing of a projectile designed to retrieve rock samples from Ryugu. In our role of representing the Japanese Earth and planetary science community, we at the Japan Geoscience Union would like to send the team our heartfelt congratulations. After the rock samples are brought back to the earth, they will be carefully analysed and the results will be invaluable to help unlock the secrets about the origin and evolution of the solar system and the earth and the origin of the building blocks of life. We salute the boldness of JAXA and the Japanese planetary science community that took on the challenge of this type of mission that requires an exceptionally high level of technical expertise. All of us at the Japan Geoscience Union are greatly looking forward to the successful completion of this project.
President of the Japan Geoscience Union