Japanese Robots Send Pictures After Landing On Asteroid
Japanese Robots Send Pictures After Landing On Asteroid
The first photos from the surface of an asteroid looks like something from a space horror movie
25 September, 2018, 02:28
When the European Space Agency (ESA) landed Philae on Comet 67p a couple of years ago, the science community and world at large celebrated humankind's first physical interaction with an asteroid, even if it didn't exactly go according to plan.
Taking to Twitter, JAXA announced the news with some blurry - yet incredible - images taken by one of the rovers after its separation from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft.
The Japanese space agency JAXA has successfully landed two space rovers on a far-flung asteroid in the deep void of space.
'Analysis of this information confirmed that at least one of the rovers is moving on the asteroid surface'.
The rovers will now bounce along the surface of the asteroid, which is a 170 million miles (280 million km) away, as the gravity on Ryugu makes it impossible for them to roll. Japanese unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 released two small Minerva-II-1 rovers on the asteroid Ryugu on September 21.
Image: The surface of Ryugu is in the lower right.
The Minerva-II rovers were developed by JAXA and the University of Aizu, and two of the rovers have been deployed to the surface of the asteroid.
The robots, named Rover-1A and Rover-1B are both collectively known as Minerva-II1.
Later, it will deploy an explosive kinetic impactor and create a new crater on Ryugu.
The two landers are meant to study the composition of Ryugu, a primitive carbonaceous near-Earth asteroid, with the ultimate goal of gathering more information about the development of the inner planets of the solar system.
The probe will then collect fresh materials from inside the crater which have not been exposed to wind and radiation. Later that month, the original Hayabusa2 craft will descend on Ryugu and do what has never been done before: return a sample to Earth.
While Hayabusa2 is expected to return to Earth by the end of the year 2020, CNN wrote the U.S.' own similar asteroid-sampling mission is not expected to be completed until 2023.
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