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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that Hayabusa2, JAXA’s asteroid explorer satellite, rendezvoused with Ryugu, the target asteroid.

On June 27, 2018, JAXA operated Hayabusa2 chemical propulsion thrusters for the spacecraft’s orbit control. Confirmation of the rendezvous is based on the following data analyses:

  • The thruster operation of Hayabusa2 occurred nominally
  • The distance between Hayabusa2 and Ryugu is approximately 20 kilometers
  • Hayabusa2 is able to maintain a constant distance to asteroid Ryugu
  • The status of Hayabusa2 is normal

    The Optical Navigation Camera – Telescopic (ONC-T) sensor collected this image of Ryugu on June 26, 2018. (Credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST.)

From this point, JAXA plans to conduct exploratory activities in the vicinity of the asteroid, including scientific observation of asteroid Ryugu and surveying the asteroid for sample collection.