A robot landed on an asteroid for an "express mission" of only 16 hours

The Mascot unit landed on the night of this Tuesday with success on the asteroid Ryugu and sent the first images.
A robot landed on an asteroid for an "express mission" of only 16 hours
Digital recreation made by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) of the Mascot robot on the Ryugu asteroid (AP).
The Franco-German robot Mascot landed on Tuesday night successfully on the asteroid Ryugu and sent the first images captured during its landing flight.

The photographs show an arid and rugged landscape. Mascot will investigate the asteroid for 16 hours, with the aim of obtaining information to contribute to the study of the origin of the Earth. It will take temperature measurements and study the magnetic field.

The robot, the size of a microwave, was manufactured by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES). He left four years ago on board the space probe Hayabusa2, which released him on Wednesday at 01:58 GMT (22:58 in Buenos Aires) from a height of 51 meters. Twenty minutes later he had landed on Ryugu.

Mascot will study several places near its landing point and will move by jumping. The main risk is that in one of those jumps it is stuck in a rock and can not continue exploring.
A robot landed on an asteroid for an "express mission" of only 16 hours
Photo received from the spacecraft Hayabusa2 that shows its shadow on the asteroid Ryugu (AFP).
The mission of Mascot will last only 16 hours, the time it will consume the energy stored in its battery. The Hayabusa2 probe will fly over all that time near the asteroid in order to receive the data and images sent by the robot.

The mission of the Hayabusa2 probe will continue and will approach the asteroid so much that it will be able to suck some of the material from its surface and bring it back to Earth at the end of 2019.

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