Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which has already returned some initial science from asteroid Ryugu, will soon try to collect a sample from the surface. Touchdown rehearsals are planned in September and October, with the first attempt expected in late October.
The original plan was for Hayabusa2 to collect multiple samples from several locations, to gather a broad range of materials. But it turns out Ryugu’s surface is fairly diverse to begin with, and since sampling is a risky procedure, the team is now focusing on a single location near the equator.
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