Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. Best Amazon Finds Under $30
    08:33 Deals

    10 Amazon finds under $30 each that people are obsessed with right now

  2. AirPods Max Amazon
    11:49 Deals

    AirPods Max just hit a new all-time low at Amazon (cheaper than Prime Day!)

  3. Best PlayStation 5 Accessories
    15:17 Deals

    Have a video game console? This $48 device on Amazon makes it feel so much faster

  4. Amazon Deals
    10:37 Deals

    Today’s top deals: Free $15 Amazon credit, AirPods Pro back on sale, $39 soundbar, $…

  5. Wireless Borescope Camera
    13:49 Deals

    Crazy wireless camera that lets your phone see anywhere is still down to $29 at Amazon




Japanese asteroid probe sends hopping rovers down to space rock’s surface

September 21st, 2018 at 4:58 PM
hayabusa-2

At the end of August, Japanese space agency JAXA announced when it would attempt to deploy a pair of very special rovers to the surface the asteroid known as Ryugu. JAXA’s Hayabusa-2 probe spent years traveling to the asteroid and today, right on schedule, the probe released a pair of incredibly unique rovers to inspect the asteroid.

The probes were released from the “mothership” Hayabusa-2 spacecraft and, if all went as planned, they would have drifted down to touch down on the asteroid’s dusty surface. Unfortunately, JAXA engineers will need to wait a couple of days to receive confirmation that the rovers are ready to perform their scientific duties.

“We are very much hopeful. We don’t have confirmation yet, but we are very, very hopeful,” JAXA’s Yuichi Tsuda reportedly said. “I am looking forward to seeing pictures. I want to see images of space as seen from the surface of the asteroid.”

What makes the rovers particularly interesting is that they’re nothing like the kind of robotic vehicles that you’re used to seeing on Mars. Instead of wheels to drive around, the rovers will actually jump to new locations on the space rock when they need to relocate. The vehicles will propel themselves nearly 50 feet into the sky before gently drifting back down to the surface thanks to Ryugu’s gentle gravitational pull.

But these springy rovers aren’t the only trick Hayabusa-2 has up its sleeve. The spacecraft will soon blast a large crater into Ryugu and then probe the freshly exposed material to study the makeup of the rock itself.

Later, a tool-packed cube called MASCOT will be sent down to the asteroid to relay a wealth of readings back to JAXA. Eventually the Hayabusa-2 mission will see the spacecraft return actual asteroid samples to Earth, but that won’t take place until 2020.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.




Popular News