Japan’s two hopping rovers successfully land on asteroid Ryugu

24 September, 2018, 16:57 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Japanese Space Rovers Send Dazzling Photos From Asteroid Landing Back to Earth

The tiny body is now located some 186 million miles (300 million kilometers) away from Earth.

"From the surface of Ryugu, MINERVA-II1 sent a radio signal to the Earth via Hayabusa2", Kubota said.

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

"I can not find words to express how happy I am that we were able to realize mobile exploration on the surface of an asteroid", said JAXA program manager Yuichi Tsuda.

While the first images were less than awe-inspiring, successive shots show a craggy, pitted surface fit for a Hollywood blockbuster.

The two cylinder-shaped rovers measure some 7.1 inches (18 centimeters) in diameter, 2.75 inches (7 centimeters) in height, and weigh in at around 2.42 lbs.

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They are created to move on the surface of Ryugu by making repeated jumps using solar-powered motors. (1.1 kilograms) each. Rover-1A is equipped with four cameras, while Rover-1B has three cameras on board.

In October, the Hayabusa2 probe will deploy an "impactor" that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a 2kg copper missile to blast a small crater into the surface.

If it works, Hayabusa2 itself can descend to the surface of Ryugu to analyse the underground makeup of the asteroid, and collect some samples to bring home.

A pair of small robotic explorers released by Japan's Hayabusa2 space probe made history Saturday by landing on an asteroid 300 million kilometers from Earth.

The agency tried but failed in 2005 to land a rover on another asteroid in a similar mission.

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. Nowakowski reached out to SpaceFlight Insider in an effort to have the two space-related websites collaborate.

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