A Japanese aircraft has sent images of an asteroid that is not having a usual shape. In fact, the shape is being compared to a dumpling.
The Japanese spacecraft in the name of Hayabusa 2 initiated its journey in 2014in order to study 162173 Ryugu, an asteroid. Apart from this, the spacecraft also operated to deliver soil and rocks from the surface of Ryugu to the Earth.
Currently, Hayabusa 2 is around 215 km away from Ryugu and is scheduled to reach a distance of 20km from the asteroid on June 27, 2018. From the present distance, the camera of Hayabusa 2 was able to pick the outline of the asteroid, which resembles more of a dango dumpling from Japan. However, on scrutinizing closely, it was found to have numerous craters and dents which is giving it the said appearance. The ONC-T camera or the Optical Navigation Camera- Telescopic of the spacecraft has captured 52 images of the asteroid on June 14, 2018 and June 15, 2018.
The orbit track of the asteroid is retrograde, which means that it revolves in the opposite direction of the Earth and the Sun.
After June 27, 2018, the JAXA or the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency will be scrutinizing the asteroid for a span of 1.5 years. During this period of time, the agency will be launching landing crafts on the surface of 162173 Ryugu. An explosive device will also be used to get the rock samples from it.
The landing craft is scheduled to be launched in September that also includes Mascot or the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, which is a German-made instrument package.
By 2020, the spacecraft will be reaching the surface of earth along with the samples from 162173 Ryugu, which will be leaving its surface on December 2019.
The first spacecraft of Hayabusa was launched in 2003 but encountered failure. Due to this, it returned to the Earth in 2010 with a few segments of the asteroid Itokawa.