Sept. 27 (UPI) -- JAXA released new photos of the asteroid Ryugu's rugged landscape.
The images were captured by the mission's two MINERVA-II1 rovers, named Rover 1A and Rover 1B. The miniature, roly-poly-shaped landers were released last week by the Japanese space agency's asteroid-circling probe, Hayabusa-2.
Rover-1A snapped a photograph of its own antenna and pin! Image taken on September 23, 2018 at 09:48 JST. [5/6] pic.twitter.com/W8zJqo2233— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) September 27, 2018
The landers successfully touched down on the asteroid's surface on Sunday.
JAXA posted video and photos captured by the landers' cameras on Twitter, revealing Ryugu's craggy surface up-close.
Rover-1B succeeded in shooting a movie on Ryugu’s surface! The movie has 15 frames captured on September 23, 2018 from 10:34 - 11:48 JST. Enjoy ‘standing’ on the surface of this asteroid! [6/6] pic.twitter.com/57avmjvdVa— HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) September 27, 2018
Hayabusa-2 rendezvoused with asteroid Ryugu earlier this summer after a 3.5-year journey.
In the coming weeks, the two landers will use their cameras and instruments, including temperature and optical sensors, to observe Ryugu.
Scientists believe Ryugu was formed not long after the birth of the solar system and could offer scientists insights into how the solar system formed and evolved.
Last month, NASA's own asteroid-targeting probe, OSIRIS-REx, began its approach toward the asteroid Bennu.