During the operation for Touchdown 1 Rehearsal 3 (TD1-R3), we attempted to capture images using CAM-H (small monitor camera) as the spacecraft approached the surface of Ryugu. CAM-H was manufactured and installed on Hayabusa2 by donations received from the general public and it is attached near the lower edge of the side of the spacecraft. The camera can photograph the tip of the sampler horn, but it can also capture the surrounding area and background. Figure 1 shows the images taken with CAM-H during TD1-R3.
In Figure 1, the camera has captured the sampler horn with the surface of Ryugu receding in the background where the shadow of the spacecraft can be clearly seen. CAM-H is ready for the touchdown operation!
Comments from the Project Members
■ Hirotaka Sawada, responsible for CAM-H：
We were able to take a really good image!
While the image data was being sent from the spacecraft to the ground, my heart was pounding as I wondered what kind of image was on its way and I was very happy to see the image of the horn in the direction of Ryugu. In the connected images collected every second, you can feel the spacecraft rise. I hope that everyone who supported us will be pleased as well. As the person in charge of both the sampler and CAM-H, this was a good rehearsal for the actual touchdown.
■ Yuichi Tsuda, Project Manager：
The real pleasure of CAM-H is that it is possible to shoot at this dynamical angle as Hayabusa2 moves away from Ryugu. This camera was realized by everyone’s support and has added great appeal to the technology and science of the exploration of Ryugu. I would like to thank everyone who donated once again and I think we will use this camera more and more in future operations.
■ Makoto Yoshikawa, Mission Manager：
I never thought we could take images with CAM-H that appear as if we ourselves are flying over Ryugu at low altitude. The pictures look as if they are taken flying somewhere above the desert, but these are actually over a small asteroid 300 million km away. Thank you very much to everyone who supported installing such a camera.
※ Cooperation: Kimura lab., Tokyo University of Science
(The technology for CAM-H is the result of previous collaborative research between JAXA and the Tokyo University of Science.)