Japanese Mission  Rovers on Asteroid

Becomes First to Land

Japan’s Asteroid

Mission Hayabusa2 has become the first to land moving rovers on the surface of an asteroid.

On 22 September

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) tweeted confirmation that the mission’s twin rovers.

Called MINERVA-II 1A and 1B

Had landed safely on the space rock Ryugu, and that both were moving on the surface.

The Hayabusa2 Mothership Deployed

The small probes late last week as it dropped to just 55 metres above the surface, later pulling up to a higher orbit.

Mission Controllers Lost

Communication with the MINERVA rovers in the hours after deployment - the landers were on the far side of the asteroid

But the Hexagonal Rovers Have

Now sent back their first, slightly blurry, colour images of the surface and made their initial ‘hop’

The Probes Use

Rotating motors to make jumps, each lasting some 15 minutes owing to the body’s low gravity.

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