2 Japanese Rovers Land on Target Asteroid Ryugu

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, Sept. 22 (Jiji Press)--Two small robotic explorers released from Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft have successfully touched down on asteroid Ryugu, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said Saturday.

The space agency confirmed that after the landing, at least one of the two Minerva-II 1 rovers succeeded in jumping to another location on the surface of Ryugu by using an internal motor.

According to JAXA, the Minerva-II 1 is the world's first rover to have succeeded in moving on the surface of a low-gravity celestial object.

Hayabusa2 released the Minerva-II 1 rovers toward a point some 140 meters north of Ryugu's equator on Friday afternoon Japan time.

The rovers then sent data, including images, to Hayabusa2 some 20 kilometers above the surface of the asteroid. Based on the data, JAXA confirmed that the two rovers landed on Ryugu.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press