JAXA confirms 2 rovers landed successfully on asteroid Ryugu

earthsky.org | 9/22/2018 | Eddie Irizarry
morica (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: http://en.es-static.us/upl/2018/09/RyuguByRover1ATakenDuringAHopCorrectPosition-224x300.jpg

This amazing photo was captured by Rover 1A as it was bouncing or hoping over the surface of asteroid Ryugu on September 22, 2018. The bright, white region is due to sunlight, while the blue area is a distortion, also caused by sunlight. Image via JAXA/ Hayabusa2.

JAXA, Japan’s space agency, said on Saturday, September 22, 2018, that two rovers released by its Hayabusa2 spaceraft have set down successfully on asteroid Ryugu, hundreds of millions of miles from Earth. The spacecraft traveled for four years before encountering Ryugu. JAXA has now released images taken by the rovers as they were ejected from the mother spacecraft, as well as other images captured as one of the probes bounced or hoped on the asteroid’s surface. JAXA said:

Rovers - Surface - Ryugu - Condition - Photos

Both rovers are confirmed to have landed on the surface of Ryugu. They are in good condition and have transmitted photos and data. We also confirmed they are moving on the surface.

Ryugu is a space rock with a diameter of less than a mile (about 1 km) and classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid, with an orbit that occasionally brings it into Earth’s vicinity. The encounter and release of the small rovers occurred early on September 21 at a distance of 194 million miles (313 million km) from Earth.

Distance - Images - Hayabusa2 - Spacecraft - Rovers

The distance is so huge, that images sent by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft and its rovers take some 35 minutes to reach our planet.

Rover-1B acquired this image on September 21, shortly after separation from the spacecraft. The photo shows the surface of asteroid Ryugus as seen from about 180 ft (55m). The misty top left region is due to the reflection of sunlight. Image via JAXA/ Hayabusa2.

Hayabusa2 - Ryugu - June - Afterwards - Weeks

Hayabusa2 arrived at asteroid Ryugu on June 27, 2018. Afterwards, for several weeks, the spacecraft remained at a distance of about 12 miles (20...
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