Monday, 17 December, 2018

Space Rovers Become First-Ever Spacecraft To Land On Asteroid Surface

The grey rocky surface of the asteroid This is the first time that moving rovers have landed on an asteroid
Frank Williams | 25 September, 2018, 10:21

On September 21st, researchers from Japanese space agency JAXA successfully deployed and landed two rovers on the surface of the Ryugu asteroid. This is the first time humans have landed rovers on the surface of an asteroid, although in 2014, the European Space Agency shot the first photos taken from the surface of a comet.

The two rovers - each about the size of a small cookie tin, 18 centimetres in diameter and seven cm high - are to capture images of the asteroid and measure surface temperatures before a larger rover and a lander are released later.

Japan created history as it became the first country in the world to successfully land two robotic rovers on an asteroid. Hayabusa 2 will also smash the asteroid with explosives to blast away part of its surface, exposing underground material that the spacecraft will collect and eventually send back to Earth.

"The image taken by MINERVA-II1 during a hop allowed me to relax as a dream of many years came true".

The two small biscuit-tin shaped rovers
The two small rovers will'hop along the asteroid

NASA's NEAR-Shoemaker, launched in 1996, closely flew past asteroid Mathilde, coming within 1212 km of the asteroid's surface, next year. The craft has previously flown tantalizingly close to the asteroid's surface for the objective of measuring its gravitational pull; while descending to Ryugu this time, Hayabusa2 travelled from its orbit 12. It shows the Hayabusa 2 on top and Ryugu's surface. "This is just a real charm of deep space exploration", said Takashi Kubota, a spokesman for the space agency, CNN reported. Hayabusa2 will then collect samples from the crater, which will later be sent to Earth for laboratory studies.

The MINERVA rovers were launched from Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe, which has been orbiting an asteroid called Ryuga for a few months now. The asteroid's surface is known to be rougher than expected, as it has several boulders and barely any smooth places.

The expedition aims at shedding light on the origins of the solar system.

Situated in an orbit between the Earth and Mars, the asteroid Ryugu is believed to be rich in water and organic materials, making it a flawless object for learning more about the possible extraterrestrial societies in the galaxy and maybe, other solar systems.

Trump Backs Supreme Court Nominee Despite New Sexual Assault Claim
At that time, I sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 31 hours and answered questions under oath. Exact details of Thursday's scheduled hearing before the Judiciary Committee are still being worked out.

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