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Japanese robots successfully land on an asteroid

Hayabusa2 sets off from Earth (DLR)Hayabusa2 sets off from Earth (DLR)Two robotic rovers from space probe Hayabusa2, launched by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), have landed on an asteroid. It marks the first time a mission has completed a successful landing on a fast-moving asteroid. The rovers will now begin a survey of the asteroid Ryugu. More robots are expected to be landed on Ryugu in the coming weeks. Astronomers are hoping the mission will shed light on the origins of the Solar System.

Ryugu asteroid (DLR)Ryugu asteroid (DLR)


The asteroid Ryugu orbits the Sun between Earth and Mars, sometimes moving inside Earth's orbit. It comes to within 95,400 kilometres (60,000 miles) of Earth and so is classified as a Near-Earth Object (NEO). Ryugu is a type of asteroid that is made up of mixture of minerals, ice and organic compounds formed at the time of the birth of the Solar System. Studying it is expected to provide more knowledge about the origin of water and living things on Earth—whether these could have come from asteroids. 

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