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Tiny German Spacecraft Poised for Hopping Landing on Asteroid

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The Japanese Hayabusa2 mission is preparing to place a lander called MASCOT on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu.   

MASCOT's target zone is in the southern hemisphere of Ryugu, in a smooth area with a gentle day and night cycle that shouldn't hurt the lander. Temperatures there will range between 116 and minus 89 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees and minus 67 degrees Celsius).

To get there, Hayabusa2 will first take a dive. The spacecraft has orbited Ryugu from as high as about 12 miles (20 kilometers). But to release MASCOT, Hayabusa will zoom down to a nail-biting 200 feet (60 meters).

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Born in Long Island public school year in Sweden as exchange student, went to Harvard one year, Cooper Union in NYC as Art student. Have two children, one of whom is rock mogul, the other has three daughters, one of whom has two daughters, making me (more...)
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