Asteroid explorers snap a photograph of their new world

This computer graphics image provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency shows an asteroid and asteroid explorer

Earlier this week, Japan's space agency, JAXA, stunned the world with confirmation that it had safely landed two rovers on the surface of asteroid Ryugu, doing what the European Space Agency's Rosetta had failed to do on Comet 67p. They show slightly tilted close-ups of the rocky surface from different locations.

The twin rovers were deposited last Friday atop the half-mile-wide asteroid Ryugu by their parent spacecraft, the Japanese Space Agency's Hayabusa 2. But the little rovers proved to be sturdy, easily moving across the rocky terrain with hopping motions using a motor-powered internal mass that rotates to generate inertia, propelling the rovers across the surface. Weak gravity on the asteroid makes it hard for the rovers to roll on the surface.

The clip was shot in 15 frames, captured from 11.34 to 12:48 Australian Eastern Standard Time on September 23.

In labs on Earth, scientists will assess the asteroid fragments to understand the processes that allowed planets to form from the swirl of gas and dust that surrounded the primitive sun.

The asteroid is 160 million km far from Earth.

Jaxa also posted the highest resolution photographs to date of Ryugu's surface, taken with Hayabusa2's onboard camera as it approached the asteroid in preparation to release the rovers.

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The video is a cut of 15 images that the Rover did on the 23rd of September.

JAXA scientists reported their joy at the rovers' success.

"I can not find words to express how happy I am that we were able to realise mobile exploration on the surface of an asteroid", project manager Yuichi Tsuda said on the space agency's website.

And as soon as the end of October, they could be joined by Hayabusa2 itself, which will make its first attempt at shooting a projectile into the asteroid and collecting samples to bring back to Earth.

"I am proud that Hayabusa2 was able to contribute to the creation of this technology for a new method of space exploration by surface movement on small bodies".

The rovers will also measure the temperature on the asteroid, and collect material from under the asteroid.

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