It began its reconciliation on February 21, 6 AM Japan time, taking pictures of what it saw when it approached the asteroid. This photo was one of the last ones captured before the fired litter:
Since it lost touch with its land team when it was moving, the Japanese Space Research Agency had to wait for it to fly again and restore communication, it only took the spacecraft one second to shoot that hill and take off again, but we are just waiting to hear if it has managed to collect samples.
– Gene J. Mikulka, CC (@ genejm29) February 21, 2019
Here is an edited version of it where the video JAXA only showed, where tantalk ulan is burning in the surface. pic.twitter.com/mCLkBoWK94
– Jason Davis (@ jasonrdavis) February 21, 2019
This operation would happen back in October, but the land team discovered from Ryugel's surface has much larger gravel than they thought. They had to carry out experiments in the lab before giving the operation one step. Now that this experiment has proven successful, they are expected to burst an explosive into the asteroid later this year to create a crater and collect additional fragments.
Hayabusa2 is scheduled to leave Ryugu in December 2019 and be home one year later. The samples it takes back can shed light on what the early solar system was and could give us more information about the possibility of asteroids secreting the soil with organic matter that led to life on our planet.