MASCOT spacecraft with cosine sensors lands safely on surface of asteroid

On 3 October MASCOT, with cosine’s Optical Proximity Sensors on board, has successfully landed on the surface of Ryugu.

Ryugu is a near-Earth asteroid, located approximately 300 million kilometers from Earth, about the same distance as Earth is from the Sun. The MASCOT lander successfully separated from the Japanese Hayabusa 2 space probe at 03:58 CEST, at an altitude of 51 meters. The lander descended in free fall to Ryugu, landing on the asteroid’s surface approximately 20 minutes later.

MASCOT will conduct measurements on the asteroid’s surface for 16 hours, after which it will remain on Ryugu. Hayabusa2 is expected to return to Earth in 2020.

Marco Beijersbergen, founder and Managing Director of cosine, comments: ”We congratulate JAXA and DLR on the achievement of another milestone on this mission. We are very proud that we were able to contribute to this success.”

Space probe Hayabusa 2, is operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). cosine developed and built the Optical Proximity Sensors of the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) lander. These guidance, navigation and control sensors, placed on the sides of MASCOT, allow the MASCOT lander to orient itself, regardless of how it lands.

Follow the progress of MASCOT on the MASCOT lander twitter feed.

Read more about this exciting event in the press release published by the German Space Center (DLR).