Asteroid rovers send home new photos

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The rovers will use their seven cameras to study Ryugu's estimated 3,020-foot (920-meter) surface, ultimately creating a 3D, composite image of the asteroid.

The agency also posted photos on its official Hayabusa-2 website which showed the location of the image snapped by Hayabusa on the asteroid's surface.

While it's unlikely to win an Oscar, a short movie shot on the surface of a near-Earth asteroid is a major scientific milestone.

A handout photo taken by Hayabusa2's Rover-1A shows the surface of asteroid Ryugu. The rovers, each about the size of circular cookie tin, don't have wheels but jump around the asteroid.

The video, which is composed of 15 frames, was captured on September 23, along with the other media published by JAXA Thursday.

"I love how this first image from the lander on the surface of the Ryugu asteroid is so Stanley Kubrickesque", the former commander of the International Space Station tweeted.

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

"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.

"This is the highest-resolution photograph obtained of the surface of Ryugu", the science team says. A sensor-packed cube will also be delivered to the surface and eventually, the spacecraft itself will land on the asteroid to snag a sample of material which it will then return back to Earth.

"The image taken by MINERVA-II1 during a hop allowed me to relax as a dream of many years came true", Takashi Kubota, a spokesperson for the project was quoted as saying on the project's website.

Comprising 15 frames, the footage was captured on 23 September, revealing what it might be like to stand on the surface of an asteroid.

Two Japanese robots have sent back their first video images from the surface of a moving asteroid as part of an unprecedented mission aimed at shedding light on the origins of the solar system.

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