Japan Lands 2 Robot Rovers on Asteroid Surface

25 September, 2018, 02:26 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Of Rovers Landing On An Asteroid Are Stunning

This computer graphic image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows two drum-shaped and solar-powered Minerva-II-1 rovers on an asteroid.

Scientists have been working to find a suitable landing space on the asteroid's rough surface since the orbiter arrived. "Analysis of this information confirmed that at least one of the rovers is moving on the asteroid surface".

The two "MINERVA" landers, which the probe deployed on the asteroid, have already made contact with the mother ship and sent back home some incredible pictures as well.

The robots are created to hop around the asteroid's surface to collect photos, samples, and data from its surface, as Ryugu's gravity is too weak for rolling to work.

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The pair of robots they sent hurtling toward the surface of an asteroid on Friday have landed as hoped and are already sending back images of their odd new home.

"The two rovers are in good condition and are transmitting images and data", the agency, JAXA, said on Saturday after the rovers separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft and landed on the asteroid Ryugu. The next day, JAXA shared an impressionistic image of the landing site: the craggy dark stone of the carbon-rich Ryugu lit by a brilliant beam of light from the sun. If all goes to plan, it will be the first mission to return a sample from a C-type asteroid, which are often compared to time capsules from the earliest days of the solar system, more than 4 billion years ago.

Later, it will deploy an explosive kinetic impactor and create a new crater on Ryugu. The space agency also noted that Ryugu is thought to contain water - making it an appropriate namesake of an underwater palace. Later that month, the original Hayabusa2 craft will descend on Ryugu and do what has never been done before: return a sample to Earth.

"I am proud that Hayabusa2 was able to contribute to the creation of this technology for a new method of space exploration by surface movement on small bodies".

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