Japan’s Hayabusa2 lands on asteroid Ryugu to collect samples

Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft has successfully touched down on the surface of asteroid Ryugu to accomplish one of its ultimate goals: collect samples for scientists back on Earth. The probe has briefly landed on the asteroid to fire a bullet into its surface and kick up dust, rocks and any other debris that it can collect. […]

NASA’s daring asteroid mission unfurls its sampling arm for the first time

Enlarge / This image, taken Wednesday, shows the OSIRIS-REx Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism sampling head extended from the spacecraft at the end of the robotic arm. (credit: NASA) NASA officials confirmed Friday that a test of a key component of the space agency’s mission to sample an asteroid was completed successfully. On Wednesday, for the […]

Blockchain company buys asteroid mining firm Planetary Resources

Planetary Resources just took an unusual turn on its path to asteroic mining. ConsenSys, a blockchain company created by Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin, has bought Planetary Resources for an unspecified sum. It sounds supremely trendy given the combination of blockchain and private spaceflight, but it’sa logical fit if you ask Planetary Resources’ Brian Israel. Blockchain-based […]

Mysterious interstellar asteroid could be a solar sail from wrecked alien probe, astronomers say

Interstellar mystery rock Oumuamua might have been part of an alien reconnaissance mission, according to two Harvard Smithsonian astronomers who saw in the strange object signs it could be a light-driven probe. As the strange rock moved out of our solar system last September, it sped up instead of slowing down as would be expected. […]

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 mission lands on target asteroid

After months of hovering around its target, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 mission has made contact. Two of the host spacecraft’s landers (ROVER-1A and 1B) have touched down on the surface of the asteroid 162173 Ryugu and have already been hopping around as they take photos (like the one above) and gauge the space rock’s temperature. As […]

Two Japanese robots are now happily hopping on an asteroid [Updated]

Enlarge / The Hayabusa2 spacecraft spies its shadow Thursday night as it descends toward Ryugu to deploy two small rovers. (credit: JAXA) Saturday update: More than 24 hours after they were released by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft to fly down to the surface of the asteroid Ryugu, the Japanese Space Agency has finally provided an update […]

Asteroid the size of Great Giza Pyramid making a ‘close approach’ to Earth

An asteroid listed as “potentially hazardous” by NASA and estimated to be about the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza is hurtling toward Earth at 20,000 mph – but don’t cancel your end-of-August plans just yet. The giant space rock, known as 2016 NF23, measures between 230ft and 525ft in diameter and is expected […]

Asteroid the size of Burj Khalifa is heading towards Earth

A “potentially hazardous” asteroid, larger than the world’s tallest building, is heading towards Earth at a speed of 76,000 miles per hour. Asteroid 2002 AJ129 will fly past Earth on February 4, coming within 2.6 million miles (4.2 million kilometers) of our planet, according to NASA. Although this is the equivalent of ten times the […]