Quest to Reveal Asteroid's Mysteries Before Japanese Spacecraft's Visit

The JAXA Hayabusa-2 mission will arrive at Asteroid Ryugu in 2018, but first astronomers need to study it from afar to understand what it's made of long before the spacecraft attempts to touch down.

December 5, 2016
12:47 PM EST
The shadow of Hayabusa, along with a target marker (circled, at left), is shown on asteroid Itokawa in November 2005. | Credit: JAXA
A view of asteroid Itokawa based on data from the Hayabusa spacecraft. | Credit: JAXA