After sending samples of the asteroid Ryugu to our planet, the new mission of the Japanese probe Hayabusa 2 is exploration a asteroid which lies between the orbits of the Earth and mars. This was announced by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Japan.

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He asteroid 1998KY26, located between the orbit of our planet and that of the red planet, has a diameter of 30 meters and performs a complete rotation every 10 minutes. According to Koichi Hagiuda, head of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Hayabusa 2 probe It will not land on the surface of the asteroid, but will observe and study it through its cameras.

(Image: NASA)

Hayabusa’s Travels 2

The Japanese probe Hayabusa 2 launched into space in 2014. Thereafter he made two descents in another asteroid, Ryugu (162173), in February and July 2019. During these missions, the probe collected samples from the asteroid’s terrain, which could help to investigate the origin of life in the universe.

Asteroids 1998KY26 and Ryugu are similar in that they are both rich in carbon. Thus, this Hayabusa 2 mission also aims to obtain more data by analyzing the similarities and differences between the two astronomical objects.

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In November 2019, the probe left the asteroid Ryugu to get closer to Earth. There he launched a capsule with the samples he took. These are expected to fall in Woomera, South Australia, where their arrival was approved and estimated in December this year.

Finally, after leaving the cargo with Ryugu’s samples, Hayabusa 2 began his new mission. The probe is expected to get close enough to the asteroid 1998KY26 in the year 2031.