On an original space rock more than 100 million miles from Earth, two small robot explorers made their first cautious "jump" this weekend-the first move of any human being --
Make the spacecraft cross the surface of the asteroid.
On Friday, two roaming men were stored at half-time. mile-
The Japanese space agency's Hayabusa 2 spacecraft launched a wide asteroid, Ryugu.
The next day, JAXA shared the Impressionist images of their landing location: rough dark stones of carbon
The rich c is illuminated by a bright beam of light from the sun.
The rover known as Minerva
II 1a and 1b are roughly equal to the size and shape of the biscuit jar. Solar-
The power-driven internal rotors flip them under the low gravity of the asteroid, enabling them to push themselves on its surface to take photos and get temperature data.
"I can't find any language to express how happy I am," project manager Zhu Tianyu said in a statement confirming Rogers's safe arrival.
In the next few months, Minerva
Two others will join the rover.
Hayabusa 2 will also crush the asteroid with explosives to blow up part of its surface, revealing the underground material that the spacecraft will collect and eventually return to Earth.
If everything goes as planned, it will be from C-
Type of asteroid, usually compared to the time capsule of the early solar system more than 4 billion years ago.
The Dragon Valley is named after a magical palace under the sea, where a fisherman is given a mysterious box in a popular Japanese folk story.
JAXA explained in a press release announcing the name of the asteroid: "Hayabusa 2 will also bring back a capsule with samples, so the theme of" bringing back Treasure "is common.
"The space agency also pointed out that the Dragon Valley is considered to contain water, so it is the proper name for the palace under water.
Hayabusa 2 will stay at Ryugu until the end of 2019, when it will leave with the collected samples and set a route for the Earth.
JAXA hopes to receive samples in the second year.
In a laboratory on Earth, scientists will evaluate asteroid debris to understand how planets form from gas and dust swirls that surround the original Sun.
They will compare the rocks with samples collected by meteorites and other missions, including NASA's OSIRIS-
Rex, who is expected to arrive in Bennu on 2020.
"By studying asteroids, we learned more about the early solar system and more about life itself," said Bill Nai, CEO of the science Man and The Planetary Society.
"At this moment in the history of space exploration, it is surprising to live as a person.