In-situ investigation of asteroid (162173) Ryugu by the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) Camera (MASCam)


R. Jaumann1,2,*, N. Schmitz1, T.-M. Ho3, S.E. Schröder1, K.A. Otto1, K. Stephan1, S. Elgner1, K. Krohn1, F. Preusker1, F. Scholten1, J. Biele4, S. Ulamec4, C. Krause4, S. Sugita5, K.-D. Matz1, T. Roatsch1, R. Parekh1,2, S. Mottola1, M. Grott1, P. Michel6, F. Trauthan1, A. Koncz1, H. Michaelis1, C. Lange3, J.T. Grundmann3, M. Maibaum4, K. Sasaki3, F. Wolff7, J. Reill8, A. Moussi-Soffys9, L. Lorda9, W. Neumann1, J.-B. Vincent1, R. Wagner1, J.-P., Bibring10, S. Kameda11, H. Yano12, S. Watanabe13,12, M. Yoshikawa12, Y. Tsuda12, T. Okada12, T. Yoshimitsu12, Y. Mimasu12, T. Saiki12, H. Yabuta14, H. Rauer1,2, R. Honda15, T. Morota16, Y. Yokota12, T. Kouyama17


1 German Aerospace Center (DLR), Inst. of Planetary Research, Berlin, Germany

2 Freie Univ. Berlin, Inst. of Geosciences, Berlin, Germany

3 DLR, Inst. of Space Systems, Bremen, Germany

4 DLR-MUSC, Linder Höhe, Cologne, Germany

5 Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science, School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan

6 Univ. Côte d'Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France

7 DLR, Inst. of System Dynamics and Control, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

8 DLR, Inst. of Robotics and Mechatronics, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

9 CNES, 18 Avenue E. Belin, Toulouse 31401, France

10 Univ. de Paris Sud-Orsay, IAS, Orsay, France

11 Dept. of Physics, Rikkyo University, 3-34-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-8501, Japan

12 Inst. of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Sagamihara, Japan

13 Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Nagoya Univ. Furo-cho Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Japan

14 Dept. of Earth and Planetary Systems Science, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan

15 Kochi University, Department of Information Science, Akebono, Kochi, Japan.

16 University of Tokyo, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Hongo, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan.

17 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Aomi, Koto, Tokyo, Japan.

*Correspondence to: Ralf Jaumann

Science 23 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6455, pp. 817-820
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw8627



On October 3rd, 2018, the MASCOT lander investigated the surface of (162173) Ryugu in situ. The onboard MASCam camera obtained images during the descent and on the surface, with a spatial resolution down to 0.2mm/pixel. The surface is covered by two types of rocks, while deposits of fine-grained material, of millimeter to centimeter size, are absent. Rocks appear either bright, with smooth faces and sharp edges, or dark, with a cauliflower-like crumbly surface. Close-up images of a rock of the latter type reveal a dark matrix with small, bright inclusions, either spectrally red or blue. Their presence implies that the rock did not experience extensive aqueous alteration. The inclusions show strong similarities with those in carbonaceous chondrites, suggesting that Ryugu is linked to these meteorites.

Images used in the Article

Figures raw image (16 bit) enhanced image
Fig.1: Image D F1086241264_103_00203_n1.tif F1086241264_103_00203_n1.tif
Fig.1: Image E F1086245141_105_00203_n1.tif F1086245141_105_00203_n1.tif
Fig.2: Image A F1086982940_602_00936_n1.tif F1086982940_602_00936_n1.tif
Fig.2: Image B F1087378791_701_29464_r1.tif F1087378791_701_29464_r1.tif
Fig.2: Image C F1087923692_804_00468_r1.tif F1087923692_804_00468_r1.tif
Fig.2: Image D F1087998888_850_00468_r1.tif F1087998888_850_00468_r1.tif
Fig.3: Image I Rocks F1086239325_102_00203_n1.tif F1086239325_102_00203_n1.tif
Fig.3: Image II Inclusions
Fig.4: True color
(r1 = red, g1 = green, b1 = blue, i1 = infrared)