Japanese Rovers Successfully Land On Asteroid

Two rovers have successfully landed on an asteroid called Ryugu, as part of Japanese mission.

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency successfully landed the rovers on Friday -- becoming the first in history to land two rovers on an asteroid at the same time.

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

They are part of the MINERVA-II1 asteroid sample-return mission, and the rovers are designed to hop along the surface of the asteroid to collect data to send back to Earth.

They were deployed from the main spacecraft Hayabusa2 from a height of 55 metres, before the spacecraft returned to its typical altitude of about 20 kilometers above the surface of the asteroid.

In the coming days, Hayabusa2 will land a larger rover called MASCOT and another small rover on Ryugu.

It will then collect samples from the asteroid before flying home to Earth, where the samples will be scientifically analysed.

FEATURE Image: JAXA Hayabusa2