cosine OPS approaches asteroid Ryugu aboard MASCOT/Hayabusa2

Space probe Hayabusa2 is approaching its target, asteroid Ryugu. The Optical Navigation Camera (ONC-T) took its first photo of Ryugu on 26 February 2018. cosine developed and delivered the Optical Proximity Sensors (OPS) of the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander to the German Space Center (DLR).

Hayabusa2 is operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Hayabusa2 was launched in December 2014 and is expected to reach Ryugu in June-July 2018. Hayabusa2 will orbit Ryugu and deploy MASCOT to land on the surface of Ryugu in October 2018. Hayabusa2 is expected to return to Earth in 2020, MASCOT will remain on Ryugu.

MASCOT will free fall from a height of 100 meters, landing on the asteroid, which has a diameter of one kilometer. It will be the first probe in history to collect data on several locations of an asteroid. MASCOT will use four instruments: a camera, radiometer, spectrometer and magnetometer. These instruments will collect information about the mineralogical and geological composition of the asteroid’s surface, as well as the surface temperature and the magnetic field of the asteroid. The proximity sensors developed by cosine will allow the MASCOT lander to orient itself, regardless of how it lands.

Read more about the Hayabusa2 mission on the official mission website and the DLR website