Japanese ‘jumping’ robbers land on asteroid Ryugu

Sep

23

2018

The Japanese space agency JAXA successfully landed two small robbers on the Ryugu asteroid. The two small machines can move with small jumps, and can also take pictures of the surface.

On the website of the project, the Japanese space agency announces that the landing has been successfully completed. The first photos that were taken from the surface of the asteroid were also sent. For the time being it is a number of hazy photos taken while the robbers were in motion, or were spinning around at the landing. The intention is that the so-called Minerva II1 robbers will collect more data and send back images in the near future.

The two robbers were launched from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which was launched almost four years ago and then set sail for the 1999 JU3 Ryugu, a type C asteroid. On Friday, the two small robbers were released from the Hayabusa2, and in the near future a probe has to be put on Ryugu; the German Mascot.

In addition, the probe itself also lands on the asteroid where it starts firing a number of projectiles to create dust clouds. This should make it possible to take a sample of the asteroid, which can then be taken back to Earth. The intention is that Hayabusa2 will arrive on our planet again in 2020. In total, data is collected from the asteroid for about one and a half year.

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