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article imageThe suspense is over — Hayabusu2 rovers made safe landing

By Karen Graham     Sep 22, 2018 in Science
Whew - The suspense is finally over. JAXA's two tiny hopping robots have successfully landed on an asteroid called Ryugu — and they've even sent back some wild images from their new home.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) engineers deployed the robots early Friday (Sept. 21), but JAXA waited until today (Sept. 22) to confirm the operation was successful and both rovers made the landing safely.
Tetsuo Yoshimitsu, who is responsible for the Hayabusa2 Project MINERVAII1 had this to say about the success of the mission: "Although I was disappointed with the blurred image that first came from the rover, it was good to be able to capture this shot as it was recorded by the rover as the Hayabusa2 spacecraft is shown."
*Moreover, with the image taken during the hop on the asteroid surface, I was able to confirm the effectiveness of this movement mechanism on the small celestial body and see the result of many years of research," he added.
Actual images from rovers
The MINERVA-II1 cameras can shoot in color. In Figure 1, although the image is blurred due to the rover rotating, you can clearly see the body of Hayabusa2 and the paddle of the solar cells. The solar paddle appears blue.
First image
First image
JAXA
This first Image was captured by Rover-1A on September 21 at around 13:08 JST. The image was taken immediately after separation from the spacecraft. Hayabusa2 is at the top, and the surface of Ryugu is bottom. The image is blurred because the shot was taken while the rover was rotating.
Takashi Kubota, Spokesperson for the Hayabusa2 Project (also responsible for the MINERVA-II1) was in awe, saying: "The good news made me so happy. From the surface of Ryugu, MINERVA-II1 sent a radio signal to the ground station via Hayabusa2 S/C. The image taken by MINERVA-II1 during a hop allowed me to relax as a dream of many years came true. I felt awed by what we had achieved in Japan. This is just a real charm of deep space exploration."
Image two.
Image two.
JAXA
Image two was captured by Rover-1B on September 21 at around 13:07 JST. This color image was taken immediately after separation from the spacecraft. The surface of Ryugu is in the lower right. The colored blur at the top left is due to the reflection of sunlight when the image was taken.
Artist’s concept of the Hayabusa2 probe taking an asteroid sample.
Artist’s concept of the Hayabusa2 probe taking an asteroid sample.
JAXA
Image three - featured at the top of this story -was captured by Rover-1A on September 22 at around 11:44 JST. This color image was captured while moving (during a hop) on the surface of Ryugu. The left half of the image is the asteroid surface. The bright white region is due to sunlight.
More about hayabusu2, Asteroid, Ryugu, safe landing, MinervaII1
 
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