The two rovers owned by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, part of the Hayabusa 2 mission, are surveying the surface of the asteroid Ryugu.
It sends amazing photographs and information back to earth for studies and deeper investigation.
These 2 tiny machines are called A1 and 2B, and they are armed with powerful cameras that can capture extremely detailed images of the asteroid’s surface. Each weighs less than 3 pounds, barely 7 inches across.
Inside the rovers are machines equipped with a spinning mass, allowing them to “hop” as they travel across the asteroid. This motion gives them better vantage points in sending pictures compared when merely taken from the ground, covering a wider view of the area.
Aside from being able to give better perspective of its surveyed area, as it hops its is able to record various temperatures of the asteroid- on the ground and from above the surface- giving scientists a better array of measurements.
This photograph shows parts or rover 1A- the pin and the antenna. The latter is vital to maintain its transmission back to base, while the pin protects solar cells, provides friction as the rover hops. The pin also has sensors to determine the temperature.
A Distance of 175 Million Miles
The Hayabusa is the first ever mission to take photographs of an asteroid’s surface through its rovers. This activity takes place in asteroid Ryugu, 175 million miles away from the earth, serving as an inspiration for researchers all over the planet for collecting troves of valuable new information, and to explore more on the subject.