New Scientist: The Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) is scheduled to launch in 2014 onboard Hayabusa 2, Japan’s second spacecraft to collect samples from an asteroid. This time the target is 1999 JU3, a carbonaceous asteroid, which is rich in minerals that formed in water. Hayabusa 2 will place MASCOT on the asteroid’s surface to collect samples and study its temperature, chemical composition, surface texture, and magnetic properties. About the size of a car battery and weighing about 10 kg, MASCOT jumps, rather than rolls, so that it will be able to travel more easily over the asteroid’s rough terrain. It is hoped that MASCOT will be more successful than Japan’s first attempt to use a jumping robot: MINERVA, which launched in 2003 onboard the first Hayabusa spacecraft, was released at the wrong time and failed to reach the surface.