JAXA confirmed Hayabusa2, JAXA's asteroid explorer rendezvoused with Ryugu, the target asteroid.

On June 27, 2018, JAXA operated Hayabusa2 chemical propulsion thrusters for the spacecraft's orbit control.*
The confirmation of the Hayabusa2 rendezvous made at 9:35 a.m. (Japan Standard Time, JST) is based on the following data analyses;

  • The thruster operation of Hayabusa2 occurred nominally
  • The distance between Hayabusa2 and Ryugu is approximately 20 kilometers
  • Hayabusa2 is able to maintain a constant distance to asteroid Ryugu
  • The status of Hayabusa2 is normal

From this point, we are planning to conduct exploratory activities in the vicinity of the asteroid, including scientific observation of asteroid Ryugu and surveying the asteroid for sample collection.
*Hayabusa2 operation hours: 7:00 a.m. (JST) through 3:00 p.m. (JST), June 27. The thruster operation was pre-programmed in the event sequence earlier on the day and the command was automatically executed.

[Reference]

20180627_1.jpg

Optical Navigation Camera - Telescopic (ONC-T) image of Ryugu, photographed at 12:50 p.m. (JST), June 26, 2018.
ONC team (image credit): JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology,
Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST.
(If a shortened credit is required, please us "JAXA, University of Tokyo and collaborators".)

20180627_2.jpg

The location of Hayabusa2 thrusters
A set of 12 thrusters is loaded with the Hayabusa2 spacecraft as circled in red.
Propulsion at 2.9 cm/s in the plus z-axis proceeded for the rendezvous.

20180627_0015.jpg

Hayabusa2 Project member 10:06 am, 27 June 2018  (c)ISAS/JAXA