Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining

Japan's Hayabusa 2 space probe (read more about Hayabusa and Hayabusa 2) will finally start mining Ryugu sometime on February 22, according to JAXA.


The new date follows a previous delay that saw the landing pushed from October to January as JAXA struggled to find a smooth spot to touchdown due to the ruggedness of the asteroid's surface. "The landing point is decided and how we're going to land is confirmed, so we want to do our best to achieve this without making mistakes," said JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda (per Phys.org).

Dotted between Earth and Mars, Ryugu's chemical composition is comprised of nickel, iron, cobalt, water, nitrogen, hydrogen and ammonia -- making it a prime target for scientists seeking to unlock the mysteries of the universe. Barring any more setbacks, Hayabusa 2 has until December to scoop up samples to bring back to Earth.

(Via Hayabusa 2 will finally start mining an asteroid)

Science fiction fans will fondly remember the very early descriptions of asteroid mining from Edison's Conquest of Mars, by Garrett P. Serviss in 1898.

Be sure to keep up with other asteroid mining adventures:

  - Is Planetary Resources An Asteroid Mining Company?
  - Arkyd Spacecraft To Hunt Asteroid Platinum, Water
  - Asteroid Miners Wanted!
  - Deep Space Industries To Mine Asteroids
  - Tyson Says Asteroid Miners Will Be First Trillionaires
  - NASA Misses $5Trillion Funding Boost

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