Hayabusa2's Rovers Successfully Land On Asteroid

Hayabusa2's rovers successfully land on asteroid

Japan's space agency JAXA says 2 rovers released from its Hayabusa2 probe have landed on the asteroid Ryugu.

JAXA officials say they determined the landing was successful after the MINERVA-II-1 rovers beamed back images to Earth. They say the images captured different places on the asteroid's surface, suggesting the vehicles took the images as they moved.

The Hayabusa2 probe carries a total of 4 land rovers. It released the first pair on Friday at an altitude of 55 meters from the asteroid's surface.

The cylindrical vehicles are 18 centimeters wide and 7 centimeters high.

They're designed to hop on Ryugu's surface, as the asteroid's weak gravity makes moving on wheels difficult.

The landing is to test the rovers' ability to move as well as take pictures of the asteroid's surface to use for the landing of the probe in late October.

Hayabusa2's predecessor, Hayabusa, failed to land a rover on the asteroid Itokawa in 2005.