The magazine MAQ September 2018 MAQ Magazine November 2018 - Page 282

22 September 2018

MINERVA-II1: Successful image capture, landing on Ryugu and hop!

On September 21, the small compact MINERVA-II1 rovers separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft (time of separation was 13:06 JST). The MINERVA-II1 consists of two rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B. We have confirmed both rovers landed on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. The two rovers are in good condition and transmitting images and data. Analysis of this information confirmed that at least one of the rovers is moving on the asteroid surface.

MINERVA-II1 is the world’s first rover (mobile exploration robot) to land on the surface of an asteroid. This is also the first time for autonomous movement and picture capture on an asteroid surface. MINERVA-II1 is therefore “the world’s first man-made object to explore movement on an asteroid surface”. We are also delighted that the two rovers both achieved this operation at the same time.

The MINERVA-II1 cameras can shoot in color. In first figure, although the image is blurred due to the rover rotating, you can clearly see the body of Hayabusa2 and the paddle of the solar cells. The solar paddle appears blue. In second figure, the image was taken during a hop on the surface and you can feel this dynamic movement.

The following is a picture sent from MINERVA-II1.