"Please take a moment to enjoy the "permanence" of this new world", - said in a statement, JAXA officials published on September 27.
Japan's space agency JAXA has released images of the surface of the asteroid Ryugu captured by two robotic vehicles that landed there last week. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft has been snapping images and its rovers have been cruising the surface of the asteroid snapping pics.
One week ago, the craft successfully dropped a small capsule with two rovers onto its surface.
While it's unlikely to win an Oscar, a short movie shot on the surface of a near-Earth asteroid is a major scientific milestone.
Unlike the Mars rovers, which require trundling along slowly on wheels, the rovers launched from the Hayabusa2 "mothership" are created to bounce within Ryugu's low gravity in order to navigate the hard terrain.
MINERVA-II rover 1B captured this picture of Ryugu right after it separated from Hayabusa2.
The image, seen above, was taken with the ONC-T (Optical Navigation Camera- Telescopic) as Hayabusa2 descended towards the surface of the asteroid to deploy its MINERVA-II1 rover.
The imagery - the first taken from rovers from an asteroid - shows a rocky landscape against the backdrop of space. The Ryugu asteroid is only 900 meters in size, underscoring the precision of the maneuver-the equivalent of hitting a six-centimeter target in Brazil from Japan.
"Within the rover is a motor that rotates and causes the rover to "hop" (jump up) during the rebound", JAXA says on its website.
"I can not find words to express how happy I am", said project manager Yuichi Tsuda when the rovers' safe arrival was confirmed earlier in the week.
Next month, Hayabusa2 will deploy a device that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a 2kg copper missile to blast a small crater into its surface. Next year, Hayabusa2 will land on the surface of the asteroid to gather samples and bring them to Earth in 2020.
The rovers will also measure the temperature on the asteroid, and collect material from under the asteroid.
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