Long-Awaited Updates on Hayabusa2's Critical Operation

The Japanese mission has provided updates on its most recent critical operations: PPTD-TM1A.
Fabienne Lang

Hayabusa2, the asteroid sample-return mission operated by the Japanese space agency, JAXA, tweeted on Thursday that its critical operation PPTD-TM1A has come to a close, earlier than planned. 

Hayabusa2 was launched on December 3, 2014. It planned to arrive at a C-type asteroid by mid-2018, staying there for one and half years. It plans to leave the asteroid at the end of 2019 and return to Earth around the end of 2020.


This news follows from JAXA's previous deep space exploration missions Hayabusa. It has inherited and improves the already verified know-how established by Hayabusa to construct the basis for future deep-space exploration.

Broken down into five shifts, Hayabusa2's goal is to clarify the origin and the evolution of the solar system as well as life matter. The mission has targeted a "C-type' asteroid, Ryugu, for this study and potential discovery. 

In order to understand the evolution of the solar system, according to JAXA, it is imperative to target specific types of asteroids, for example C-type, as they are considered to contain more organic or hydrated minerals.

Shift 5 of Hayabusa2 project safely done and dusted

JAXA keeps all interested followers up to date with the mission through regular tweets and live location sharing. The following tweet was sent out on Thursday 30 May, 2019: 

What will happen next? 

Operations continue as normal, as JAXA Hayabusa2's tweet has stated.

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