Two little rovers just did something pretty incredible: They landed on an asteroid and sent pictures of their initial exploration back to Earth. Amazing, right? We think so!
JAXA’s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) asteroid-exploring probe, called Hayabusa2, launched on December 3rd, 2014, and only arrived at the Ryugu asteroid in late June of this year. It hovered around the asteroid for months before it finally released its onboard rovers, Rovers 1A and 1B, otherwise known as MINERVA-II1, to explore the surface of Ryugu. Those who worked on the Hayabusa2 mission were excited to see that after years of working on the rover technology, the rovers were able to achieve what they were built to do: explore the surface of an asteroid and “live” to tell the tale. Check out some of the images that were taken from MINERVA-II1 below:
What do you think MINERVA-II1 will find on Ryugu?