SEP 25, 2018 9:37 PM PDT

Japan Put Two Landers On An Asteroid for Science

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Japanese space agency JAXA recently made history after its Hayabusa 2 mission approached the asteroid 162173 Ryugu and dumped off two landers to study the asteroid’s surface.

Each lander contains powerful cameras that can snap high-detail images of the asteroid’s surface and beam them back to Earth. The hope is that we might learn something new about asteroids, the formation of the solar system, and where life on Earth came from.

The tweak landers aren’t just sitting around, however. Instead, they’re gleefully hopping about with the help of an internal mechanism that generates force via high-speed counterweight rotation. It takes advantage of the asteroid’s small gravitational influence to jump several meters at a time.

After the landers study the asteroid for an ample amount of time, the Hayabusa 2 mission will attempt to snag a surface sample and return it to Earth by the early 2020’s.

Indeed, the future looks bright for space exploration.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 02, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 02, 2019
The Air Force's X-37B Plane Spent 780 Days in Space, But Why?
The United States Air Force regularly conducts top-secret missions and science experiments on behalf of the federal government. One of the military branch&...
JAN 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 19, 2020
A Brief Summary of Everything We Know About Pluto
Pluto was once considered one of the solar system’s planets but was later downgraded to the status of ‘dwarf’ planet after several more s...
FEB 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 02, 2020
NASA Officially Retires the Spitzer Space Telescope
NASA is always sending spacecraft into space to explore the universe around us; be it the close-proximity stellar neighborhood of our own solar system or o...
FEB 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 16, 2020
Just How Powerful is a Piece of Space Debris?
One of the most commonly discussed topics in space science today is the space junk problem, in which space junk collides with objects to create space debri...
MAR 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 08, 2020
Mars 2020 Rover Will be Named 'Perseverance'
The Mars 2020 rover has been a popular topic of discussion over the past several years, but it has remained rather conspicuously named up until now. With a...
MAR 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 31, 2020
Can Viruses Survive in Outer Space?
Outer space is often depicted as a harsh environment. It’s effectively an airless vacuum, and anything residing there would be subjected to high amou...
Loading Comments...