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Imaging Systems to Explore Asteroid Composition Close-Up

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A probe launched today by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) carries a spectroscopy and imaging systems to examine the composition of a near-Earth asteroid. Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa2 is on a mission to explore the origins of the solar system by studying the makeup of asteroid 1999 JU3. It is expected to reach the asteroid in 2018 and return to Earth with samples in 2020. The probe will orbit the asteroid at a distance of about 20 km and carry out remote sensing observations while sending down three landers for direct measurements of the asteroid surface. An...Read full article

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