Japanese Robots Send Pictures After Landing On Asteroid

Два японских мини-робота совершили первую в истории успешную посадку на астероид

Japan successfully lands rovers on asteroid Ryugu

This is the first time humans have landed rovers on the surface of an asteroid, although in 2014, the European Space Agency shot the first photos taken from the surface of a comet. The craft has previously flown tantalizingly close to the asteroid's surface for the objective of measuring its gravitational pull; while descending to Ryugu this time, Hayabusa2 travelled from its orbit 12.

Something very cool just happened in space: Two Japanese rovers successfully landed on an asteroid for the first time in history.

Because of the asteroid's low gravity the rovers will be able to hop around across its surface.

It will also release a lander called Mascot and a large rover called Minerva-II-2 next year.

Two MINERVA rovers were deployed on September 21 and both have successfully landed.

JAXA named the mission and spacecraft sent to the asteroid Hayabusa2.

Beneath their desolate surfaces, asteroids are believed to contain a rich treasure-trove of information about the formation of the solar system billions of years ago.

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'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'.

Yuichi Tsuda, Hayabusa2 project manager said: "I can not find words to express how happy I am that we were able to realise mobile exploration on the surface of an asteroid".

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.

The rovers - dubbed MINERVA-II 1a and 1b - are each roughly the size and shape of a cookie tin.

"I can not find words to express how happy I am", project manager Yuichi Tsuda said in a statement after the rovers' safe arrival was confirmed.

"I felt awed by what we had achieved in Japan". NASA's next mission Deep Space 1, launched in 1998, flew by asteroid Braille, coming within just 26 km of its surface.

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