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JAXA tried to launch a probe in 2005, but it failed to land on its target asteroid.

The country's space agency released images taken by the Minerva-II explorers on the surface of the asteroid Ryugu, where they are on a mission to gain clues to the formation of the solar system and the origin of life.

The solar-powered rovers' voltage plunged on Ryugu, a sign that they are on the asteroid, said Hayabusa project team spokesman Takashi Kubota. However, it is blurred because the shot was taken while the rover was rotating.

The JAEA confirmed the landings in Saturday, with the first photos sent back from the rovers.

A third lander is scheduled to be released October 3.

The twin MINERVA-II1 rovers, A and B, landed yesterday after being released from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft about 60 meters (~200 feet) above the surface.

"I was so moved to see these small rovers successfully explore an asteroid surface because we could not achieve this at the time of Hayabusa, 13 years ago".


Once they hit the surface, the two rovers began moving around in hops created by internal rotations and started using stereo and wide angle camera, and thermometers.

JAXA's Hayabusa-2 probe spent years traveling to the asteroid and today, right on schedule, the probe released a pair of incredibly unique rovers to inspect the asteroid.

Amazingly, one more picture taken amid one of the wanderer's bounces on the space rock surface made the Project MINERVA-II1 group exceptionally cheerful.

Hayabusa2 is scheduled to leave Ryugu in November-December 2019 with the sample return capsule landing near Woomera, Australia in December 2020. It returned, about 1,500 grains of rock, from the surface of the asteroid.

They are created to move on the surface of Ryugu by making repeated jumps using solar-powered motors.

One of the principal concerns for deployment was Ryugu's rougher-than-expected surface, which is carpeted with boulders and has very few smooth patches.

These samples will be sent to Earth for laboratory studies.


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