Brian May, the guitarist for British rock group Queen, sent a video message to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) expressing his support for the Hayabusa2's probe of the asteroid Ryugu ahead of its second touchdown on the celestial body on July 11.
May, who is also known as an astrophysicist, said in the message, "The world is watching. We love you. Take care Hayabusa2. God bless."
The space probe successfully touched down again on Ryugu on the morning of July 11, and JAXA released the video message to the press the same day.
May has been involved in the observation of celestial bodies such as asteroids, which have the potential to hurtle toward Earth. He is among those who recommended establishing Asteroid Day on June 30 to learn about asteroids and how to protect Earth. When Hayabusa2 first arrived near Ryugu, he made a 3-D stereoscopic image of the asteroid and unveiled it to the public.
Along with his message on the second touchdown, May sent an updated stereoscopic image of the asteroid based on detailed data, which more accurately depicts Ryugu's rocks than the previous one.
The message was recorded on July 9, apparently during May's break from a concert tour in Vancouver, Canada, according to JAXA.
Below is the full text of the video message:
Hello Hayabusa2 people. Hello folks in Japan. Konnichi wa. This is Brian. I'm speaking to you from Vancouver, and I'm a little distracted because we're about to start the Queen tour, and eventually we will get to Japan and we will play Tokyo and Nagoya and Osaka. (We're) very happy, looking forward to that, but right now very excited, because the news is that we're going to publish our stereos, our stereo pictures, 3-D pictures of Ryugu, which we worked very hard on and we've been sitting on for a while. And the other news, of course, is that Ryugu is about to resample, bring more materials back off the surface, back to Earth for us to study. The world is watching. We love you. Take care Hayabusa2. God bless.
(Japanese original by Etsuko Nagayama, Opinion Group)