Photos from Japanese space rovers show asteroid is ... rocky


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I can't fathom all of the mathematics involved in doing something like this.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

This showcases the actual state of Japan's technological capabilities. Veramente best

It flies in the face of all "JT experts" who disparage Japan's education system and society on a daily basis.

And NO! Jaxa is not over-staffed with foreigners doing all the intellectual and creative work.

Third rate Japanese education is the responsible for this audacity.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It IS surprising to see a Roosevelt dime in the picture... No, okay, it’s a cool picture even without that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can't fathom all of the mathematics involved in doing something like this.

Actually, most of the math is simple rocket science and high school physics. A little vector-calc, but not much. Orbital mechanics can be learned without calculus and guidance problems always need iterative solutions.

The hard parts are in dealing with all the unknowns and having fallback plans that can be altered as needed for new, unexpected, situations. Appears Japan has nailed that very well.

This is amazing work. There is a video on youtube from the surface from yesterday. Basically it shows the sun moving over the asteroid, so shadows shifting. Inspiring! BIG TIME!

former rocket scientist here with GN&C experience.
8 ( +8 / -0 )

That's pretty amazing they accomplished the mission. Wonder if they were to discover a new element in one of those rocks.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I was expecting more Bullwinkle, but whatevs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very cool. Wouldn't it be a hoot, if one of those asteroids held the key and the building blocks of life?

Floating rocks in space and a smorgasbord of life starting properties. They crash into planets and start new life through destruction and impact. Darwin would be turning in his grave!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Actual video from the surface:

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's amazing that we as humanity have not only got to the point that we can send objects 300 million kilometers from earth and send images back, but also that we can then share those images around the entire planet pretty much right away.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan seems highly skilled at landing craft but less so with rockets. Their plan to use a SpaceX rocket to deliver their lunar rovers thus makes a lot of sense, particularly from cost-perspective (no need to re-invent the wheel - it's a private company, after all, and could be counted against the trade surplus). We live in exciting times!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow !

Bravo to Japan’s space exploration achievement.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Congratulations on a spectacular achievement, and thank you for sharing the pictures!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

simple rocket science 

Thank you. I am alway on the lookout for new oxymorons.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would imagine, that the further out you go, the more intense the math/physics involved, but never-the-less, the feat of putting a pair of bouncing cameras upon a moving asteroid is a first, and more is to come.

I doubt that JAXA operates in isolation from the rest of the World, and vice-versa - the Scientific community does share information and assist each other when not being interfered with by Politics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The main equations to get there and for the tiny, tiny, tiny gravity of that body are here: It is all high school-level algebra (pre-calc) and geometry.

Distance away from the sun just requires more patience, since gravity assists are normally required.

Landers for asteroids are much easier than landers for planets with more G and atmospheres. Much easier. All of it is still hard, but the scale shifts when there is constant high-energy radiation and higher gravities. For example, the spacecraft isn't orbiting this asteroid. It is orbiting nearby.

This mission hopes to return samples from this asteroid, likely just sterile rocks. Comets are believed to have more interesting things, like organic molecules. JAXA has just left experiments on ISS YESTERDAY to test re-entry.

The wikipedia Orbital mechanics article is accurate too:

MIT has a free classware I took a similar class sophomore year. The prof made all the exam questions using Star Trek helm orders for the different problems. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )


I'd like to be able to go to places right away as well. Alcubierre drive to bend space-time without violating speed of light limit. Around the solar system for lunch, nearest star by afternoon tea, and next galactic arm by dinner.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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