Japan's Hayabusa asteroid rovers send back first footage

Enjoy "standing" on the surface of this asteroid!

A handout photo taken by Hayabusa2's Rover-1A shows the surface of asteroid Ryugu.

Part of a collection of media released by the agency, the video shows the rocky surface of the asteroid and the sun moving across the sky, as seen from the asteroid.

The Hayabusa 2 has been traveling to the asteroid for the past 3.5 years conducting research about the asteroid and its composition.

Twitter user Transferrins created this incredible stop-motion animation of the rover's landing on the asteroid, which shows just how nail-biting that journey was. The 15-frame video was shot over the course of 1 hour and 14 minutes on September 23.

The gravity on the surface of asteroids like Ryugu is very weak.

"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" enthused Yuichi Tsuda, Hayabusa2 Project Project Manager, "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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"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".

"It is unbelievable to be a human living at this moment in the history of space exploration".

"This is the highest-resolution photograph obtained of the surface of Ryugu", the science team says.

After examining the far distant object and taking samples, Hayabusa-2 will depart Ryugu in December 2019 before returning to Earth by the end of 2020 with its cargo of samples.

On Saturday, the space agency shared images the rovers beamed back to Earth showing the robots' approach and surface landing.

The rovers were stored within a container called MINERVA-II1.

Next month, Hayabusa2 will deploy a device that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a 2kg copper missile to blast a small crater into its surface.

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