Brief mission update: Hayabusa2 has a launch date!
JAXA announced the launch date for their Hayabusa2 asteroid sample return mission today: November 30 at 13:24:48 Japan standard time (04:24:48 UT / November 29 at 20:24:48 PST). This is slightly earlier than I expected (JAXA has, for a long time, just specified a "December" launch date.) The H2A rocket will launch, as usual, from the Tanegashima launch complex. I thank Junya Terazono for the news! Here are two sites (in Japanese) that may carry updates on mission status: moonstation.jp, and fanfun.jaxa.jp. The latter is already running a countdown clock: Just 61 days to launch! He also shared this link to a PDF launch press kit, containing launch timeline information and other details about the instruments and subsatellites to be launched with Hayabusa2, including ARTSAT2-DESPATCH and PROCYON. I'll work on translating this information and post key elements it closer to the launch date.
JAXA / Akihiro Ikeshita
Hayabusa2 at Asteroid
Hayabusa2 will arrive at an asteroid in 2018 to investigate it for one and half years, before returning to Earth in 2020.