JAXAs probe Hayabusa2 launched MASCOT to study Ryugu asteroid
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) probe, Hayabusa2, launched the French-German Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout or MASCOT, a new observation robot towards Ryugu asteroid. MASCOT will pursue its mission to shed light on the origins of the solar system.
MASCOT takes data from the surface of an asteroid which is expected to have scientific data. The 10-kg box-shaped MASCOT is loaded with sensors. It can take images at multiple wavelengths, investigate mineralswith a microscope, gauge surface temperatures and measure magnetic fields. The battery life of MASCOT is 16 hours and it will transmit the data it collects to the Hayabusa2 before it runs out of battery.
Initially, the Hayabusa2 dropped a pair of MINERVA-II micro-rovers on the Ryugu asteroid. After 10 days it launched MASCOT. The rovers are to survey the asteroid’s physical features with cameras and sensors and will spend several months on the asteroid.