Hayabusa2 Operation for MASCOT Delivery to Ryugu Surface

Yuya Mimasu, Tatsuaki Okada, Yuto Takei, Takanao Saiki, Tra-Mi Ho, Aurelie Moussi, Yuichi Tsuda

Planetary and Space Science
Available online 24 June 2021



  • Hayabusa2 carries several rovers and one lander
  • The lander, named MASCOT, was developed under the international cooperation between DLR and CNES
  • Mission of MASCOT is to perform several science missions on the asteroid surface
  • Hayabusa2 successfully delivered the MASCOT onto the asteroid surface.”

“The asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 was launched by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on December 3rd, 2014. The primary mission of the spacecraft is to sample pieces of the asteroid and return it to Earth for more advanced scientific analysis on the Earth. After three-year cruise phase, Hayabusa2 finally arrived at the asteroid Ryugu on June 28, 2018, and mission operations started. Hayabusa2 carries multiple rovers, separates them to land on the asteroid surface. One of these rovers, called MASCOT, was developed under the international cooperation between Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) and Centre National d’études Spatiales (CNES). This rover was planned to be separated to land on the surface of the asteroid and planned to perform several missions on the asteroid surface. In order to support these missions, the mother ship Hayabusa2 was requested to separate this rover at a very low altitude about 50 m, and to hover about 3 km after separation to achieve a reliable communication link with MASCOT. On October 2 – 5, 2018, we performed the operation for MASCOT release. In this paper, we introduce the flight results of the entire operation for the MASCOT release.”