Japan has accomplished the incredibly difficult feat of successfully landing a robot rover on an asteroid, CNN reports. JAXA, the Japanese space agency, announced they landed two unmanned rovers successfully on an asteroid traveling through space.
“The two rovers are in good condition and are transmitting images and data,” a JAXA statement said. The rovers were separated from a Japanese spacecraft, the Hayabusa2. The asteroid they landed on is known as Ryugu.
“I felt awed by what we had achieved in Japan. This is just a real charm of deep space exploration,” said Takashi Kubota, a spokesman for JAXA.
Together, the rovers are known as MINERVAII-1. No word on whether they’re named after the famously inquisitive professor from Harry Potter, but the rovers are equally as dedicated to gathering information. This is the world’s first-ever mobile exploration robot to land safely on an asteroid, and presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study an asteroid up close, while it floats through space.