back to article Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe has got the horn for space rock Ryugu – a sampling horn, that is

Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe has successfully collected a sample from the surface of asteroid Ryugu following a careful descent last night. It was all a bit tense as the probe dropped toward the asteroid, with a loss of telemetry leaving boffins listening for changes in doppler data to indicate that the milestones were ticking …

  1. DCFusor


    I'm genuinely glad - and impressed - that more countries and outfits are getting good at all this. All success to Jaxa today, and the rest, too.

    Science aside - and I'm all for science - humans also need to dream, and without things like this, the state of our planet and societies on it isn't very good dream material.

    Thanks, people.

  2. ecofeco Silver badge

    You know what they say

    Probes gonna probe.

  3. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

    "Next step, to hadouken a crater"

    That's racist, you know? the fact they are Japanese doesn't mean they go about shooting hadoukens at random... some prefer kame-hame-has.

    Bad jokes apart, congratulations to JAXA for this achievement! Being able to land a probe on a small lump of rock in the vastness of space is an cool achievement in itself... being able to carry a sample from the asteroid from the void back to Terra boggles this commentard mind!

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "Next step, to hadouken a crater"

      Sorry, it was the Ryu(gu) that made me do it.

      1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

        Re: "Next step, to hadouken a crater"

        I couldn't find a clever way to throw a Ninja Gaiden reference into the mix, despite the obvious "Hayabusa" link

        1. Z80

          Re: "Next step, to hadouken a crater"

          The apt use of hunky-dory didn't go unnoticed either (assuming you subscribe to the 'Honcho dori' theory of its etymology.

          Pint for the JAXA boffins.

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: "Next step, to hadouken a crater"

      Speaking of JAXA, I was also in a remote pub in Ireland where the ladies' was marked with the sign "Bean jax."

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "Next step, to hadouken a crater"

        So Godzilla got revenge on an asteroid for killing all his dinosaur chums ?

  4. vtcodger Silver badge


    Good for them. One of the fascinating things about this effort is that Ryugu is only about 1km in diameter. The gravity there has to be close to zero. "Sticking" to the surface tightly enough to collect samples has to be a major problem. Seems to me sort of like a neutral buoyancy swimmer trying to collect concrete samples from the bottom of a swimming pool full of water.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Fascinating

      I don't think they really "stuck" to the surface so much as bumped into it with enough speed to force some material into the collection unit.

  5. Frumious Bandersnatch

    Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe has got the horn for space rock Ryugu – a sampling horn, that is

    I was at a Lee "Scratch" Perry concert once. The bass from the sound system was just pure demonic. I was sure that they'd figured out a way to smuggle a brown note in there. I think that the Hayabusa crowd could learn a thing or two about loosening up a sample, without needing to probe too deeply. (At any rate, I was quickly subjugated, … 早伏された)

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    a small, bullet-like projectile is fired

    Let me get this right...

    We (the human race, that is) has launched a robot which is capable of seeking out a target, landing on it, and shooting it?

    If my name were Sarah Connor, I'd be afraid...

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Little step by little step, we weave our doom.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. el_oscuro

    A 2 Kg "bullet", sent at at 2km/s?

    That's more like an artillery shell. And 2km/s is about 5,000 mph, twice the velocity of an M-16 round. It also happens to be orbital velocity in Kerbal Space Program. And the results of that much mass impacting at 2km/s would be very Kerbal indeed.

    1. ridley

      Re: A 2 Kg "bullet", sent at at 2km/s?

      How are they going to fire this? Explosive propulsion like a gun or with a rocket. The former would produce one hell of a lot of recoil that would be tricky to control when in such a precarious orbit.

  9. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

    Then suddenly,

    ... right after the impactor hits the asteroid, a tentacle (what with it being a Japanese spacecraft) whips out, rips the craft apart, pulls its command package and examines it.

    Shortly after scientists register that spacecraft telemetry unexpectedly stopped mid-stream, other scientists tasked with monitoring the asteroid notice that it no longer appears to be following its expected orbit around the Sun, but it is getting... larger...

    In all seriousness, congratulations to JAXA. Be looking forward to reading more on the findings of the probe pocket contents.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Then suddenly,

      "but it is getting... larger..."

      No, it's not getting larger. See? Near. Far.


      Fr Ted.

  10. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Great stuff by JAXA!!

    Mine's a pint of Sapporo Yebisu Black

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Leonardo da Quirm

    Obviously alive, well, and naming bits of Japanese spacecraft.

    (Small Carry-on Impactor?)

  12. karlkarl Silver badge

    Gah! I wish England did cool stuff like this.

    All we ever seem to do is think of even more ways to make money from the poor. Boring!

  13. imanidiot Silver badge


    Am I the only one that thought they should have put another S in there? Small Carry-on Surface Impactor, SCSI. At least that's pronounceable as an abbreviation as we all know.

    Anyways, well done to the Hayabusa 2 team. Impressive stuff!

    1. Robert Helpmann??

      Re: SCI?

      I had a similar thought about the Sampler Mechanism (SMP): as an acronym, it fails. Either it is a shortened version of sampler, in which case there is no need to specify that it is a mechanism, or there needs to be an additional word that starts with the letter P tacked to the end.

  14. Pen-y-gors


    original Hayabusa, which limped back to Earth after a troubled mission to the asteroid Itokawa.

    Whether it came home with a pronounced limp (L I M P - pronounced 'limp' - thank you Milligna) or not, it got home. And any landing you walk away from is a good one.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Limping?

      Maybe they should try a sugar brick, it appeared to work with the carp.......

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