Hayabusa2 to attempt second landing on asteroid
NHK -- Jun 26
Japan's space agency says it will try to have the Hayabusa2 space probe make a second landing on the asteroid Ryugu next month.

Engineers at the Japan Space Exploration Agency, or JAXA, first landed Hayabusa2 on the asteroid in February.

In April, the probe fired a metal object into Ryugu's surface and created a 10-meter-wide crater.

JAXA has been considering whether the probe can land in or near the crater to collect underground rock samples exposed by the impact.

Last month, the probe dropped a target marker near the crater and captured images of the asteroid's terrain for a topographical analysis of the possible landing site.

JAXA engineers confirmed that the probe's camera and other equipment that were slightly damaged by the first landing are usable, and that there are no big rocks at the candidate site. They gave the go-ahead for a landing on July 11.

Hayabusa2 is scheduled to begin its descent from an altitude of 20,000 meters at around 10 a.m. on July 10 Japan time, and touch down on the asteroid's surface about 25 hours later.

JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda says they cannot afford to take risks because the probe is believe to be carrying samples collected after its first landing. But he added that its collecting underground rock samples would be the first ever and is worth a try.

JAXA=宇宙航空研究開発機構は25日、探査機『はやぶさ2』を来月11日に小惑星『リュウグウ』の人工的に作ったクレーター付近に着陸させると発表した。これまでの調査で、リュウグウには水の成分や有機物があることがわかっている。内部の岩石や砂は放射線などの影響を受けていないとみられ、サンプルが採取できれば地球の水や生命の起源の解明につながる可能性が期待されている。
News source: NHK
Aug 13
The Tokyo Metropolitan government had reported 222 new coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday. (NHK)
Aug 12
The nation entered the dog days of summer Tuesday as temperatures climbed above 40 degrees Celsius in some areas, prompting authorities to issue a heatstroke warning and encourage the removal of face masks in certain situations. (Japan Times)
Aug 12
A Japanese company that operates a cargo ship that ran aground off Mauritius says nearly half of the oil the vessel is believed to have leaked in the Indian Ocean has been collected. (NHK)
Aug 11
Ninety-one people at a high school in Shimane Prefecture have tested positive in recent days for the novel coronavirus in a cluster outbreak centered on the boys’ soccer team, according to local authorities. (Japan Times)
Aug 11
The cumulative total of COVD-19 infections in Japan surpassed 50,000 on Monday, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. (Japan Times)
Aug 11
Narita Airport, one of the main travel hubs for the Tokyo area, has already begun to make changes to keep travelers and workers safe in the coronavirus era. (Nikkei)
Aug 11
Japan's Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako have held talks with the top disarmament affairs official of the United Nations. (NHK)
Aug 11
The number of people using public transport in Japan is much lower than normal for the time of year due to a surge in coronavirus infections. The Bon holiday period normally sees many visiting their hometown. (NHK)
Aug 10
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines says it believes more than 1,000 tons of oil have leaked from a bulk carrier that ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean on July 25. (NHK)
Aug 10
Japan's male smoking rate fell below 30 percent for the first time in 2019, slipping to 28.8 percent, down 2.3 percentage points from the previous study in 2016, according to a health ministry survey. (Japan Today)