A Pair Of Japanese Robots Reached The Surface Of An Asteroid

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) managed to deploy two rovers on an asteroid which was named Ryugu. The landing represented the end of a four-year mission, and its success was announced through a tweet: “We are sorry we have kept you waiting! MINERVA-II1 consists of two rovers, 1a & 1b. Both rovers are confirmed to have landed on the surface of Ryugu. They are in good condition and have transmitted photos & data. We also confirmed they are moving on the surface. #asteroidlanding”.

Images from the asteroid

The official JAXA Twitter account, @haya2e_jaxa, tweeted a series of tweets that had some pictures attached as well. A tweet revealed images captured by the rovers, right after they separated from the spacecraft:  “This is a picture from MINERVA-II1. The color photo was captured by Rover-1A on September 21 around 13:08 JST, immediately after separation from the spacecraft. Hayabusa2 is top and Ryugu’s surface is below. The image is blurred because the rover is spinning. #asteroidlanding pic.twitter.com/CeeI5ZjgmM”.

While the first picture might be a bit blurry, a second tweet offered an image that was clearer: “Photo taken by Rover-1B on Sept 21 at ~13:07 JST. It was captured just after separation from the spacecraft. Ryugu’s surface is in the lower right. The misty top left region is due to the reflection of sunlight. 1B seems to rotate slowly after separation, minimising image blur. pic.twitter.com/P71gsC9VNI”

Finally, one of the tweets showed us an image that was taken on Ryugu: “This dynamic photo was captured by Rover-1A on September 22 at around 11:44 JST. It was taken on Ryugu’s surface during a hop. The left-half is the surface of Ryugu, while the white region on the right is due to sunlight. (Hayabusa2 Project) pic.twitter.com/IQLsFd4gJu”


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