Japan has successfully landed two small rovers on the surface of an asteroid in a history-making mission that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system.
Japan’s space agency (JAXA) released photos taken by the MINERVA-II-1 rovers from the surface of Ryugu, a kilometre-wide asteroid orbiting between Earth and Mars.
The rovers, each with a diameter of 18cm, height of 7cm and weight of about 1.1kg, were released from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft on Friday.
The JAXA team confirmed on Twitter that both survived the landing, are in good condition and moving on the surface.
“The good news made me so happy,” Hayabusa2 project spokesperson Takashi Kubota said in a statement on the mission website.
“The image taken by MINERVA-II-1 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.”
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