★ Hayabusa2 status (the week of 2018.7.16) ★
Last week we performed short-term operations at an altitude of about 6 km. This allowed closer observations of Ryugu in more detail and the data downlink is happening now. While usual operations are “BOX-A”, these operations at a different maintenance altitude are called “BOX-C” operations. While we did not keep the order, we will do “BOX-B” operations. Do look forward to these!
★ Hayabusa2 status (the week of 2018.7.9) ★
Operations continue at the Home Position (an altitude of about 20km). Overseas stations as well as the Usuda Deep Space Observatory have also been used for the Ka band downlink and uplink transfer. The ONC-T, LIDAR, NIRS3 and TIR have performed BOX-A (20km altitude) observations, continuing our steady data acquisition.
★ Hayabusa2 status（the week of 2018.7.2) ★
The first week after arriving at Ryugu has gone by in a flash. Monitoring the landscape of a brand-new astronomical object for humanity while continuing spacecraft operations is a wonderful and amazing experience.
The two main activities this week were:
・Establishing the procedure needed to accurately hover 20km above the asteroid.
・An operation check of the observational instruments when directed towards Ryugu.
The outcome of both activities was good. The LIDAR (Laser altimeter) measured the altitude of the asteroid’s facing surface and the Ka-band communication equipment started sending high speed data through the NASA Deep Space Network. From the Doppler shift of the radio waves sent from Hayabusa2, we could tell that the spacecraft is feeling the gravity of the asteroid. Hayabusa2’s exploration of Ryugu in this first week has been a smooth start.