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A pair of robot rovers have landed on an asteroid and begun a survey, Japan's space agency said Saturday, as it conducts a mission aiming to shed light on the origins of the solar system.
The rover mission marks the world's first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Round - Cookie - Robots - Ryugu - Day
The round, cookie tin-shaped robots successfully reached the Ryugu asteroid a day after they were released from the Hayabusa2 probe, the agency said.
"Each of the rovers is operating normally and has started surveying Ryugu's surface," JAXA said in a statement.
Advantage - Asteroid - Gravity - Rovers - Surface—soaring
Taking advantage of the asteroid's low gravity, the rovers will jump around on the surface—soaring as high as 15 metres (49 feet) and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes—to survey the asteroid's physical features.
"I am so proud that we have established a new method of space exploration for small celestial bodies," said JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda.
The agency tried but failed in 2005 to...
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