Robots will jump on the surface, rising 15 meters and hovering in the air for 15 minutes.
A pair of rover robots landed on an asteroid and began research work after a significant descent on September 21. The Japanese agency JAXA reports that this is the first study of the asteroid surface by robots moving along it. The mechanisms were deployed from the Japanese Hayabus-2 probe to Ryuga. Each of them is functioning normally and began to study the surface.
Taking advantage of the low gravity of the asteroid, the robots will jump on the surface, rising to a height of 15 m and hanging in the air for 15 minutes. This will allow to study the physical properties of the asteroid. The Japanese agency tried to implement a similar mission in 2005 on another asteroid, but faced a setback. Next month, Hayabusa-2 will deploy a “shock object” that will explode over the asteroid (shot with a 2-kilogram object) to create a small crater on the surface. In this recess, the probe plans to produce “fresh” materials that are not exposed to the effects of millennial wind and radiation. Scientists hope that this composition will allow to find answers to fundamental questions about life and the universe.
The probe will also lower the MASCOT landing gear for surface observations. Hayabusa-2 in size resembles a large refrigerator with solar panels. This is the receiver of the first asteroid explorer Hayabus, who returned from a smaller object in 2010 with dust samples. The Hayabusa-2 mission started in December 2014 and should return to Earth with samples in 2020.