The Japanese space agency has researched an asteroid, 162173 Ryugu, for three and a half years. It had sent a spacecraft named Hayabusa-2 to revolve around the space rock. However, it has decided to take a revolutionary step by sending robotic landing crafts to the asteroid from the mothership. These robots will be sent to the separate locations to acquire the unexplored information from the surface of the celestial body. In fact, this is the first-ever spaceship to launch the robotic landers on the surface of a celestial body to gather data.
Ryugu is a 1km-wide rock from the space that is from the family of primitive asteroids and carries relevant information about the origin as well as the evolution of the solar system. If the study conducted by the asteroid goes well, the origin of the earth can also be discovered.
Hayabusa-2 is impregnated with Minerva II-1, which weighs 3.3 kg. On September 21, 2018 it will dispatch two robots, namely Rover 1A and Rover 1B to start the assigned activities. The rovers weigh 1 kg each and have an internal mass that is powered by an individual motor. These also have wide-angle cameras that will take pictures of the asteroid and send back to the mothership.
Later, on 3rd October, Hayabusa-2 will dispatch a lander named Mascot, which weighs 10 kg and has the target to acquire the necessary information from the surface of the asteroid. It has a microscope, magnetometer, and the wide-angle cameras to research on the composition of the minerals, temperature of the surface, and magnetic field. The Mascot or Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout is developed in association with CNES and DLR, the French Space Agency and German Aerospace Center, respectively.
The Mascot has the capability to jump from one place to another that will enable it to study the different parts of the asteroid.