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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Japan Space Robots Being Asteroid Survey


A pair of robot rovers have landed on an asteroid and begun a survey, on a mission that will shed more light on the origin of Solar system, Japan's space agency reports Saturday.
According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA ). The rover mission marks
the world's first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface. according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA ).

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 astatement.

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.

Hayabusa2 will next month deploy an "impactor" that will
explode above the asteroid, shooting a two-kilo (four-
pound) copper object to blast a small crater into the surface.

From this crater, the probe will collect "fresh" materials
unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, hoping for
answers to some fundamental questions about life and
the universe, including whether elements from space
helped give rise to life on Earth.

The probe will also release a French-German landing
vehicle named the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout
(MASCOT) for surface observation.

Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped
with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA's first
asteroid explorer, Hayabusa
Japanese for falcon.

That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped,
asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey and was
hailed as a scientific triumph.

The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014
and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020

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