Hyabusa2 rovers send back stunning images of Ryugu
Hyabusa2 rovers send back stunning images of Ryugu
Japan landed a rover on an asteroid, and the 1st photos are out of this world
30 September, 2018, 15:24
New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is rocky.
According to the space agency officials the drum would open up a few kilometers above the asteroid and release the two robotic explorers so that they land in different locations on the asteroid's surface.
This computer graphic image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shows two drum-shaped and solar-powered Minerva-II-1 rovers on an asteroid.
Part of a collection of media released by the agency, the video shows the rocky surface of the asteroid and the sun moving across the sky, as seen from the asteroid.
In October, the Mothership Hayabusa 2 will drop a lander known as MASCOT followed by another "hopper" rover, Minerva-II2, in 2019. The time interval of creation of the frames was about an hour.
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The pins on the rovers have a few roles: they increase friction when hopping, protect the solar cells that power the robots when landing, and a few of the pins have a sensor that can measure the asteroid's surface temperature directly.
We've sent rovers to explore neighboring planets and moons, but we can now check another near-Earth target off of the list. The rovers, which are referred to as Rover-1A and Rover-1B, have been photographing and exploring Ryugu; it took the Hayabasa2 three-and-a-half years to reach Ryugu. The asteroid, 162173 Ryugu belongs to a very primitive type of asteroid. According to the JAXA's description, both the rovers were created to fall independently from the drum-shaped container on the spacecraft.
Next month, Hayabusa2 will deploy a device that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a 2kg copper missile to blast a small crater into its surface. This is due to the extremely weak gravity on Ryugu-wheels and tracks would lift off the surface of the asteroid the moment the rovers attempted to move, preventing further mobility.
"Therefore, this hopping mechanism was adopted for moving across the surface of such small celestial bodies". This will help the spacecraft collect fresh samples of materials embedded within the asteroid's surface.
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