Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency is finally witnessing the fruits of sending the spacecraft Hayabusa2, into the space, between Earth and Mars. Two rovers, MINERVA II1A and MINERVA II1B has finally separated themselves from Hayabusa2 and landed on the asteroid, Ryugu. This happened after a long wait of 3 years.
The two MINERVAs have finally started sending the images of the asteroid Ryugu to JAXA. The images are said to help the researchers and scientists gathering information about the formation of inner planets in our Solar System. Images will also throw some light on the origin of life on Earth, according to reports.
Space.com reports that after losing contact with JAXA for a brief time, the two landers finally confirmed their being in good condition and their landing on Ryugu. According to the Guardian, the asteroid, whose gravitational pull was measured by the rovers before landing, has a low gravity and thus it is easy for the rovers to “hop around” it and survey its surface efficiently.
“The probe will also release a French-German landing vehicle named the mobile asteroid surface scout (MASCOT) for surface observation”, reports the Guardian.
Hayabusa2 is expected to deploy another rover, which would be equipped with optical and ultraviolet LEDs in 2019. Towards the end of 2020, JAXA will witness Hayabusu2’s return journey with the samples collected by the rovers. The asteroid sampling mission however, would continue till 2023.