Tokyo: Japan's asteroid explorer 'Hayabusa2' has successfully completed the critical operation phase, it has been reported.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed the completion of a sequence of the important operations for the Asteroid Exploration "Hayabusa2" mission including the deployment of the horn part of the sampler that captures samples from the asteroid's surface, the release of the locks for the launch that ratchet the gimbal that controls the direction of the ion engine, and functional verification of the three-axis stabilization controls and the ground precision orbit determination system.
The sampler horn deployment was confirmed by images taken by the onboard small monitor camera that was manufactured and loaded onto the Hayabusa 2.
The explorer is now in a stable condition and it will move to the initial functional verification operation phase to verify the function of the satellite onboard instruments for about three months.
The critical operation phase is a period from the separation from the launch vehicle till the establishment of the stable operation in space including the deployment of the solar array paddles and verification of the attitude control system and tracking and control facility functions.