Japan Lands Two Tiny Rovers on Asteroid Ryugu

Japanese Space Rovers Send Dazzling Photos From Asteroid Landing Back to Earth

Japanese space robots just landed on an asteroid (and took incredible photos)

Japan confirmed it successfully landed two small rovers released from its Hayabusa 2 probe on the surface of an asteroid.

The agency called JAXA, confirmed the successful landing Saturday and posted photos taken by the little landers online. "I was particularly impressed with the images taken from close range on the asteroid surface", said Makoto Yoshikawa, Hayabusa2 Project Mission Manager.

They will also measure the surface temperature ahead of Hayabusa2's own landing late next month.

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On 3 October, the mothership will deploy a lander called Mascot, which has been developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) together with the French Space Agency (CNES). "The image taken by MINERVA-II-1 during a hop allowed me to relax as a dream of many years came true". MINERVA-II1 is the world's first rover to land on the surface of an asteroid. After that, Hayabusa2 got back up, at 20 km distance.

'This is just a real charm of deep space exploration'.

JAXA proudly tweeted pictures from the rovers, which reached Earth via the spaceship Hayabusa-2.

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MINERVA-II1 - TSE perch have in Moblin goslin of work, that VisAbility to the surface asteroid.

Just knowing that two tiny robots are now hopping merrily around an asteroid with nearly no gravity makes our own world seem a little bit merrier. With Hayabusa2 out of harm's way on the other side of Ryugu, the HMX will detonate, blasting a copper impactor into the surface while a free-flying camera released earlier records the impact. It returned, about 1,500 grains of rock, from the surface of the asteroid.

Asteroids are essentially leftover building materials from the formation of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago. The main spacecraft will collect a sample to bring to Earth for laboratory analysis.

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After examining the far distant object and taking samples, Hayabusa2 will depart Ryugu in December 2019 before returning to Earth by the end of 2020 with its cargo of samples.

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