Ryugu’s Surface Photographed By The Two Japanese Rovers In Mid-Jump

Japan landed a rover on an asteroid, and the 1st photos are out of this world

Enjoy "standing" on the surface of this asteroid!

According to the space agency officials the drum would open up a few kilometers above the asteroid and release the two robotic explorers so that they land in different locations on the asteroid's surface.

Although JAXA was unable to contact the rovers for a short time after they were sent to the surface, they've been sending photos back to JAXA. Given the asteroid's rough terrain, it would be pretty hard for them to navigate with wheels and crawlers like traditional landers do. The time interval of creation of the frames was about an hour.

As quoted on the projects website, Yuichi Tsuda, a project manager, was at a loss for words when the rovers' on-asteroid hopping ability was first confirmed on September 22.

The image, seen above, was taken with the ONC-T (Optical Navigation Camera- Telescopic) as Hayabusa2 descended towards the surface of the asteroid to deploy its MINERVA-II1 rover.

As seen in the night sky from Earth, the asteroid - and the small rovers on it - are now moving across the constellation Virgo and positioned between the planets Mercury and Venus.

Initial images were blurry but, a few days later, one of the rovers transmitted relatively clear video from space.

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The agency made history on Sunday by successfully landing the two unmanned rovers on Ryugu.

"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".

Space probe Hayabusa-2 was launched into space on 3 December 2014 and is created to deliver soil samples from the asteroid, the Ryuga, which is 280 million km from Earth.

Hayabusa2 is scheduled to drop a German-French lander with four observation devices onto the asteroid next week.

At the moment, Ryuga launched the robots-Gemini Rover MINERVA continue their activities, their existence on the asteroid is not in danger.

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.

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