According to the Japanese space agency, more than 200 photos taken by two small robots on an asteroid see no sign of a smooth zone for the next year planned landing of a spacecraft.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced that the two solar-operated working rovers have become inactive and probably sit in the shade but still respond to signals post three months beyond their life of expected days.
The circular tin like, Minerva II-1, in September, were dumped by the profane Hayabusa 2 probe into the Ryugu asteroid, which is about 280 Million kilometers from Earth, to collect surface information and relative of the same. Many photos show a rocky surface on the asteroid, which poses problems for the planned touchdown of Hayabusa 2, which was delayed to the end of October as the first images showed that the surface was rockier than expected.
JAXA said it had reduced the number of possible landing sites and still thought-out to attempt the touchdown to collect samples. Scientists analyze rovers data to finalize plans, including the possibility of holding an extra test for the spacecraft, said a member of the JAXA project, Takashi Kubota, at a news conference.
“One of the two rovers would be about 300 meters passed by jumping over the asteroid where gravity is too low for wheeled vehicles and sent more than 200 photos and other data to the spacecraft, which later took past to land,” says Kubota. “The other rover took about 40 photos and stopped moving after about 10 days. The lower than expected rocky surface of the asteroid might have delayed rovers,” Kubota said.
Asteroids that orbit the Sun, but are much smaller than the planets, are among the oldest objects in the solar system and can help explain the evolution of Earth.