Japan's Rovers Send Back First Images From The Surface Of An Asteroid

September 27, 2018

asteroid-photo-1.jpg

After a three-and-a-half year journey through space, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) asteroid exploration 'mothership' Hayabusa 2 reached asteroid Ryugu in June of this year. And on September 21st it deployed two rovers (Rovers 1A and 1B, presumably inspired by NieR:Automata characters) to the surface for a little reconnoissance. And these are the first photos and video from the surface of an asteroid. As you can clearly see, it appears to be very rocky, just like my relationship. Apparently due to 'a lack of communication' on my part, which is entirely untrue. *cell phone rings, ignores, office line rings, ignores, cell phone rings again, sends straight to voicemail* What?

Keep going for a couple more photos and the video.

asteroid-photo-2.jpg

asteroid-photo-3.jpg

Thanks to Tom T and hairless, who agree we should have sent some people. Preferably people I don't like.

  • TheQiwiMan

    Seriously so awesome we can do stuff like this. Think what we’ll be able to do 50 years from now!

  • Smeg

    ...they said when we landed a man on the moon

  • Jenness

    I can't wait for someone to paint some alien graffiti on this via photoshop, like "for a good time call Zorg" or something.

  • Deksam
  • Jenness

    Awwww, you're the BEST EVER!!!!

  • TheQiwiMan

    Stay away from Zorg, he’s got Space Herpes. LFMF
    🙁

  • Tigerh8r

    Why am I so incredibly amazed by a space rock?

    (But I am!!!!)

  • Douchy McDouche

    Armageddon 2 confirmed!

  • Munihausen

    Just awesome - people need to be preoccupied with these cosmological matters more and sportsball less.

  • GeneralDisorder

    It's difficult to imagine the sheer vastness of space without thinking how ridiculous it is that we humans find importance in anything.

  • Munihausen

    I think that's part of the reason why the topic and others, like extraterrestrial life and many social phenomena, are inherently uncomfortable with which to grapple, and most people just don't engage; they are insecure enough as it is, expect to enjoy maybe 70 trips around the Sun, and are just trying to get through the day/week/month. Cognitive dissonance, basically.
    That close-mindedness, however, puts those same people at risk of being manipulated by others.

  • Nick Pappagiorgio

    bbbut... SPORTS! Right? Sports! sports? sports! ...

  • Frédéric Purenne

    Looks like one fifth of a rotation (or less) in 14 minutes, so that asteroids rotates every 70 minutes... that's actually slower that I would have imagined, but it makes sense the rotation isn't that high otherwise we wouldn't have been able to land on it.

  • The_Wretched

    A beard and maths, are you free Saturday?

  • tim

    I'm a little surprised the gravity of the asteroid was able to overcome the centripetal force. Must've been a pretty big rock.

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