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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

Sample Return Roundup

It's a banner year for sample return missions. In 2020, China, Japan, and the United States are all scheduled to have sample return missions in flight, seeking to retrieve material from near-Earth asteroids, the Moon, and eventually Mars.

Hayabusa2 Lander Mania: Results from MASCOT, Plans for MINERVA-II2

Japan's sample return spacecraft only has about 3 months left at asteroid Ryugu. Its next action will be to drop more stuff on the surface.

Hayabusa2 Nailed its Second Touchdown on Asteroid Ryugu

JAXA's sample collection spacecraft touched down just 60 centimeters away from its aimpoint.

Hayabusa2 makes second touchdown on asteroid Ryugu

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft has touched down on Ryugu for a second time, bagging samples which hopefully contain material from the subsurface of the asteroid.

The June Solstice 2019 Issue of The Planetary Report Is Out!

Two feature articles bring you the excitement and science of exploring two very different representatives of the solar system's smaller worlds.

Treasure Hunting With Hayabusa2

IN THE EARLY hours of 22 February, light was just beginning to brighten the campus of JAXA’s Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS) in Kanagawa, Japan. It should have been a quiet time, but the Hayabusa2 control room was packed with people. We were about to land on an asteroid.

Hayabusa2 drops second target marker, targets artificial crater for sample collection

The reflective softball-sized sphere will give the spacecraft a visual guide during a second potential sample collection.

Hayabusa2 Encounters Snag Trying to Drop Second Target Marker

The spacecraft is healthy and safe, but time is running out to collect a second sample from asteroid Ryugu.

Here’s an Update on Hayabusa2’s Crater-Creating Explosion

Hayabusa2's SCI experiment fell toward Ryugu for 40 minutes before detonating about 300 meters above the surface.

Hayabusa2 Safe and Sound after Blasting New Crater on Ryugu

Hayabusa2 successfully used its explosive-packed SCI experiment to create an artificial crater on asteroid Ryugu.

First Science Results from Hayabusa2 Mission

The Hayabusa2 team held a press briefing last week at LPSC to report newly published results on asteroid Ryugu.

What to Expect When Hayabusa2 Blows a Hole in Asteroid Ryugu

The Hayabusa 2 spacecraft will deploy its Small Carry-on Impactor experiment, SCI, on 5 April.

Hayabusa2 Scores a Bulls-eye on Touchdown, More Explodey Fun on the Horizon

The mission is also gearing up for a possible second sample collection.

Watch Hayabusa2's incredible touchdown on asteroid Ryugu

The spacecraft fired a bullet into the surface and unleashed a massive spray of debris.

Hayabusa2 has touched down on Ryugu!

Touchdown occurred at about 22:49 UTC on 21 February, and the spacecraft is healthy.

What to expect when Hayabusa2 collects a sample from Ryugu

More than 4 years after launch and a half year surveying asteroid Ryugu, Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft is ready for sample collection.

Hayabusa2 team sets date for sample collection, considers two touchdown sites

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft will try to collect a sample from asteroid Ryugu during the week of 18 February, mission officials said during a press briefing last week.

Hayabusa2 prepares for holiday break as Sun passes between Earth and asteroid Ryugu

The spacecraft will spend the end of 2018 a safe distance from Ryugu, as the Sun's position makes communications with Earth spotty.

Collecting a sample from asteroid Ryugu is going to be dicey

Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft was scheduled to touch down on Ryugu later this month, but that has been delayed to early 2019.

Heiligenschein Throughout the Solar System

When planetary scientist Brittney Cooper was scrolling through the downlinked images of Hayabusa2’s approach of asteroid Ryugu, a familiar sight caught her attention.

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