Japans hopping rovers successfully land on asteroid Ryugu

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The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency successfully landed the rovers on Friday - becoming the first in history to land two rovers on an asteroid at the same time.

The rovers are also to perform functions such as measuring the surface temperature on the asteroid ahead of the planned landing of the probe on the asteroid in late October.

Rover-1A carries four cameras and Rover-1B has three so stereo images of Ryugu's surface can be created.

The JAXA team confirmed on Twitter that both survived the landing, are in good condition and moving on the surface. Scientists will not only collect more samples than during the first Hayabusa mission, they'll have lander data that wasn't available after the first Hayabusa's Minerva robot failed.

According to the agency, the 600-kg Hayabusa2, which was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan in December 2014, has experienced no problems throughout its journey totaling 3.2 billion km.

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The twin MINERVA-II1 rovers, A and B, landed yesterday after being released from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft about 60 meters (~200 feet) above the surface. To reach its target, the spacecraft carried out a gravity-assist flyby of Earth in December 2015, putting the probe on course for arrival at Ryugu last June.

Work decimalise from YaPONSKOGO Kosmonova probe "Hayabusa-2", 21 September.

One of the principal concerns for deployment was Ryugu's rougher-than-expected surface, which is carpeted with boulders and has very few smooth patches. "We need a lot of technology and information about the solar system, and Hayabusa 2 will make a big step in these areas to help us be ready to plan and collaborate in the next step of space exploration". The main spacecraft will collect a sample to bring to Earth for laboratory analysis.

That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey and was hailed as a scientific triumph.

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