Touchdown of Japan's space probe on asteroid delayed

Employees working in a control room to operate the Hayabusa2 mission in Sagamihara, Japan, last month. The probe has already amassed valuable data since it approached the Ryugu asteroid in June.
Employees working in a control room to operate the Hayabusa2 mission in Sagamihara, Japan, last month. The probe has already amassed valuable data since it approached the Ryugu asteroid in June.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Rocky surface of Ryugu makes landing difficult; event postponed till January 2019

Japan will delay the touchdown of its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on the Ryugu asteroid by at least three months owing to its "surprisingly rocky surface", its space agency has said.

Initially scheduled for the end of the month, the landing is now set for late January next year at the earliest.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2018, with the headline 'Touchdown of Japan's space probe on asteroid delayed'. Print Edition | Subscribe