December 14, 2015 (JST)
Hayabusa2 Earth Swing-by Result
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that the Asteroid
Explorer "Hayabusa2" is cruising on its target orbit after measuring and
calculating the post-Earth-swing-by orbit.
The Hayabusa2 performed the Earth swing-by on the night of December 3 (Thu.),
2015 (Japan Standard Time). The Hayabusa2 flew closest to the Earth at 7:08
p.m. (JST) and passed over the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaii islands at an
altitude of about 3,090 km. With the swing-by, the explorer's orbit turned
by about 80 degrees and its speed increased by about 1.6 km per second to
about 31.9 km per second (against the sun) thus the orbit achieved the target
numbers. According to the operation supported by the NASA Deep Space Network
stations and European Space Agency deep space ground station, the Hayabusa2
is in good health.
Message from Project Manager Yuichi Tsuda
I would like to express my deep gratitude to all pertinent parties and people
and those who are supporting our operation. All the Hayabusa2 project team
members have been working together and will continue our challenging voyage.
The Hayabusa2 gained orbit energy through the swing-by to leave the Earth.
The target is the asteroid "Ryugu". "See you later, people on Earth!"
Conceptual diagram of Hayabusa2 orbit
At 0:00 a.m. on Dec. 14, 2015, the Hayabusa2 is flying at:
about 4.15 million km from the Earth, and
about 144.85 million km from the sun.
Its cruising speed is 32.31 km per second (against the sun).
The Hayabusa2 is increasing its speed under the influence of the sun's gravity
after the swing-by.
After the swing-by, the Hayabusa2 took images of the Earth using its onboard
Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic (ONC-T). The ONC-T can shoot color
images using seven filters. The image below is composed by using three of
these filters. You can see the Australian continent and Antarctica in the
image. The South Pole is not lit by the sun during the summer, and
meteorological satellites also do not cover the Antarctic area to take
its images, hence the shot this time is precious.
Shot at 1:09 p.m. on Dec. 4 (Japan Standard Time), about 340,000 km
from the center of the Earth
You can see the Australian continent on the upper right, and Antarctica
on the lower right.
Asteroid Explorer "Hayabusa2"
National Research and Development Agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)