Hayabusa2 aborts descent to asteroid
NHK -- May 17
Japan's Hayabusa2 probe has aborted its descent to asteroid Ryugu after it reached around 50 meters above the surface. The probe was supposed to drop a marker on the asteroid to prepare for another landing.

Hayabusa2 succeeded in April to create about a ten-meter wide crater on Ryugu by firing a metal object into its surface. Earlier in February, it landed on Ryugu to collect rock samples.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to have the probe try another landing inside the crater or on a surrounding area to collect rock samples that were exposed by the impact in April. .

Thursday's mission was to observe the targeted area in detail and drop a marker from an altitude of 10 meters.

But officials say the probe automatically suspended the operation after it descended to about 50 meters above the surface. It then headed toward its standby position of 20 kilometers above Ryugu.

Hayabusa2 is designed to automatically abort its landing if it detected any irregularity. The agency is looking into the cause of the arrested descent.

JAXA says the second landing will only be possible until early July. It is planning to make three pre-landing surveys by descending close to the surface. But some observers worry the time schedule is getting tight following the landing incident.

News source: NHK
Nov 14
Japan's space agency says its probe is on its way back to Earth after leaving the asteroid, Ryugu. (NHK)
Nov 14
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government will not hold a cherry blossom-viewing party next year, which is hosted every April by the prime minister. (NHK)
Nov 14
NHK has learned that a boy who was arrested for allegedly wounding a girl with a knife in northern Japan has suggested he was interested in killing someone. (NHK)
Nov 14
Japanese immigration authorities say 219 foreigners were staying in Japan as of the end of September after acquiring a new type of work visa for people with vocational skills. (NHK)
Nov 12
One month has passed since record rain brought by a strong typhoon caused extensive damage in much of Japan. (NHK)
Nov 12
Two days after he fled in Osaka Prefecture, prosecutors on Monday caught a man indicted on drug charges who escaped while being transferred to police custody after his bail was revoked. (Japan Times)
Nov 12
On Thursday evening, Emperor Naruhito will dress in pure white robes and be ushered into a dark wooden hall for his last major enthronement rite: spending the night with a "goddess." (Japan Today)
Nov 11
Japan's new Emperor and Empress enthralled people in Tokyo and around the nation with a lavish procession through the streets of the capital. (NHK)
Nov 10
The suspect in a deadly arson attack in July on a Kyoto Animation Co studio has been questioned by police for the first time as he recovers from severe burns, investigative sources said Saturday. (Japan Today)
Nov 09
Mt Sakurajima volcano shot smoke and ash miles into the sky on Friday in its biggest eruption in more than three years, Kyodo News reported. (Japan Today)