Japans robot rovers lands on asteroids surface, captures incredible photos

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Right here is doubtless to be on account of the rotation to Ryugu, and MINERVA-II1 is now on the some distance aspect of the asteroid.

The rovers were released from Japan's Hayabusa 2 spacecraft orbiting the asteroid on Friday, September 21 and a confirmation of successful landing was received a day later. They move around by hopping, and are taking pictures of Ryugu and sending them back to Earth via Hyabusa2.

The asteroids new inhabitants weigh just over 1 kilogram, stand seven centimetres (cm) in height and have a diameter of 18cm.

The agency tried but failed in 2005 to land a rover on another asteroid in a similar mission.

The two rovers together are called MINERVA-II1.

Yuichi Tsuda, Hayabusa2 project manager said: 'I can not find words to express how happy I am that we were able to realise mobile exploration on the surface of an asteroid. Both machines in excellent condition and has already transferred the pictures and data. "We also confirmed they are moving on the surface". It's the first time two mobile rovers landed on an asteroid.

Next month Hayabusa2 will deploy an impactor which will explode above the asteroid, to blast a crater into its surface. The Minor Planet Center in 2015 christened it Ryugu, referring to Ryügü, the magical underwater palace from a Japanese folktale.

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Helena Bates is conducting a PhD at the Museum, exploring how water-rich asteroids like Ryugu formed in space.

Two mini space rovers have landed on an asteroid and sent images back to Earth. The tweets that accompany the images attempt to situate the viewer, but all you really need to know is that the rock is Ryugu and the light is from the sun.

The Hayabusa is set to return to Earth with the samples in 2020 and we hope to hear about more adventures and discoveries from it until then.

Asteroid Ryugu is a 3,278ft-wide (1km) space rock from the earliest days of the solar system.

In 2014, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft, after a 10-year journey through space, reached the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and dropped a lander (Philae) onto its surface.

The mission of Hyabusa2 is to study the surface of the asteroid and understand what it is made of.

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