Japan space agency lands two rovers on an asteroid for survey

Japan space agency lands two rovers on an asteroid for survey

The two mini-rovers broadcast their first images of the surface of Ryugu back to JAXA on September 22, or a day after they touched down.

The probe was launched back in 2014 and comprises of two rovers (1A and 1B).

The first of two Japanese space hopping robots just succeeded a historic landing on the asteroid Ryugu to bring samples of this relic of the solar system's early days. It also posted new images that the bots sent back.

Hayabusa2 will next month deploy an "impactor" that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a two-kilo (four-pound) copper object to blast a small crater into the surface.

Ryugu is a kilometer wide asteroid discovered on 10 May 1999 by astronomers associated with the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research Centre at the Lincoln Lan's ETS in New Mexico, United States. One of the main gathering soil samples and sending them to Earth for analysis.

One dropped this past weekend, and in it were two 18cm diameter MINERVA-II rovers.

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Unlike the photos of Comet 67p taken by Rosetta, these are the first ever close-up images of an asteroid in colour. "This is just a real charm of deep space exploration", Takashi Kubota, a spokesman for the space agency, told CNN. To confirm that both explorers have landed Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is trying to establish the connection but they have said there is no need to get alarmed.

How can studying asteroids help solar system science?

The Hayabusa2 team has clarified the issue in communication is due to the position on the MINERVA - II1.

The rovers hop and float across the asteroid-thanks to its low gravity-to capture information including photos and the asteroid's temperature. On 14 February 2000, NEAR settled into orbit around its primary target Eros, and touched down on the asteroid's surface in February 2001, transmitting close-up images as it descended. Once the crater will be created, the probe plans to collect "fresh" materials that have not yet been exposed to millions of years of wind and radiation.

Situated in an orbit between the Earth and Mars, the asteroid Ryugu is believed to be rich in water and organic materials, making it a flawless object for learning more about the possible extraterrestrial societies in the galaxy and maybe, other solar systems.

The Hayabusa2 is likewise planned to send a greater lander called MASCOT in October, following the fruitful landing.

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