Prof Connolly (@vorlon) named Co-Investigator of #JAXA #Asteroid #SampleReturnMission #Hayabusa2

Harold C. Connolly Jr. has been appointed Co-Investigator of JAXA’s asteroid sample return mission, Hayabusa2


The Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” will fly near the Earth to perform an Earth swing-by utilizing the Earth’s gravity on Dec. 3 (Thur.) for its orbit control. The Hayabusa2, which soared into space on Dec. 3, 2014, will coincidentally come close to the Earth on Dec. 3 (Thur.), 2015, to conduct the Earth swing-by. The explorer will fly closest to the Earth at around 7:07 p.m. on that day (Japan Standard Time). After the swing-by, the Hayabusa2 will head to its target asteroid “Ryugu”.

The Asteroid is named for an ancient Japanese Story where the main character, brings back a casket from the Dragon’s palace, or the “Ryugu” Castle, at the bottom of ocean. The Hayabusa2 will also bring back a capsule with sample selected, in part, by Dr. Connolly.