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JAXA: Hayabusa 2 probe should arrive at asteroid Ryugu on morning of June 27

(Illustration courtesy of Akihiro Ikeshita)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced on June 25 that its Hayabusa 2 space explorer is now estimated to arrive at the asteroid Ryugu on the morning of June 27.

The spacecraft, flying about 300 million kilometers away from Earth, is traveling at a relative speed of 8 centimeters per second toward the asteroid, which is some 30 kilometers away. Following its arrival at a point 20 kilometers from Ryugu, Hayabusa 2 will conduct extensive observations of the asteroid's surface and structure before making a first landing attempt in the fall of this year.

(Japanese original by Tomohiro Ikeda, Science & Environment News Department)

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