Module Owl, landed on the asteroid Ryugu interplanetary spacecraft “Hayabusa-2”, could be a long time to jump on the surface of the asteroid. This, according to experts, is the fact that the Orbiter 10 months after landing was able to register the signals coming from it from a region located far enough away from the original landing site. Article published in the journal Acta Astronautica.
Near-earth 900-foot asteroid (162173) Ryugu was the target of Japanese interplanetary probe “Hayabusa-2”: the station took two surface soil samples, which will be delivered to the Ground, and dropped on the asteroid surface, four re-entry module. The first of them who reached the surface Ryugu, were two small module MINERVA-II1: this happened in September 2018.
Modules Rover-1A (“owl”) and 1B (“Owl”) the same parameters: diameter 18 cm, height 7 cm and weight about 1.1 kg. Rover-1A is equipped with four cameras, Rover-1B — three, which was designed to create stereoscopic images of soil Ryugu. The modules are moved on the surface of the asteroid due to the hopping mechanism and was fitted with sensors to measure soil temperature, optical sensors, an accelerometer and a gyroscope. Power supply modules consisted of solar panels, covering their surface, as well as batteries.
After a successful landing module started transferring pictures and made a few jumps on the surface of the Ryuga, collecting scientific data. Telemetry data from the “Owl” came within 114 days of work.
In the case of “Owls” last data were obtained on day 10 of the mission. But then, August 2, 2019, the Orbiter within ten minutes took a carrier signal from the Owls, which came from a region located far enough away from the original landing site. According to experts, this may mean that the module was able to survive and move around by jumping across the surface Ryugu for about 10 months.
Read more about the mission, its tasks and tools you can read in our article “to Collect past bit by bit”.