Onboard Hayabusa2 is a Small Monitor Camera (CAM-H, also called the Small Monitor Camera Head), which was funded by contributions from the public (Figure 1).
We used this camera to capture a picture of the sampler horn on August 14. This is shown in Figure 2.
From this photograph, we can perform a visual inspection of the sampler horn and confirm it is sound after Hayabusa2 has arrived at Ryugu. It will soon by time for the sampler horn’s role!
In connection with the sampler horn, we also tested a laser device called the LRF-S2 in April this year. LRF-S2 is designed to measure the distance to the tip of the sampler horn. During touchdown, the sampler horn will compress as it touches the surface of Ryugu. When the distance measurement from LRF-S2 changes or the laser from LRF-S2 deviates from its target at the base of the sampler horn, bullets will be fired to stir up the surface material for collection. This makes the LRF-S2 an important device for successful sample collection. The photograph captured during this test is shown in Figure 3.
You can see the LRF-S2 laser beam is properly hitting the tip of the sampler horn, and is ready for touchdown operations.
Incidentally, this next image in Figure 4 is the sampler horn captured by CAM-H on December 5, 2014 (two days after the launch of Hayabusa2).
Figure 4 is the sampler horn three years and nine months ago, but everything looks the same as in Figures 2 and 3. The color of the sampler horn tip only appears to be different in Figures 2 and 3 due to the Sun’s light.
We would like to thank everyone who made a donation for this camera!