back to article Bouncing robots land on asteroid 180m miles away amid mission to fetch sample for Earth

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has landed a pair of tiny drum-like hopping robots on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. The cylindrical bots are about 18cm wide and 7cm tall (7 x 2.8in), and were traveling onboard the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which left Earth in December 2014. When the probe reached the right spot …

  1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Wow!

    Seriously impressive engineering. How come there is less coverage of this than similar (but less complicated) European and USian projects?

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Wow!

      It had quite a big feature on a recent "Sky at Night" (UK astronomy TV prog)

  2. ColonelDare
    Pint

    I didn't realise the time....

    Honest, I just dropped in the pub and ended up chatting for a bit, then this girl gave me a take-away box and then came straight home....

    Does that work?

  3. 0laf Silver badge
    Pint

    Top boffinry by the Japanese contingent.

    I hope El Reg will keep us all up to date with this. It's interesting stuff

  4. Zebo-the-Fat
    Pint

    Well done

    Very very nice, well done to everyone involved, can't wait to see the pictures.

  5. ashdav

    Huey and Dewey ?

  6. VinceH Silver badge
    Coat

    Did they know in advance there was a crashed Tie Fighter on the asteroid?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought the Canadians had got to it first.

  7. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Need help

    How does one pronounce "MINERVA-II1"?

    Minerva-eye-eye-one perhaps? Minerva-eyeee-one? Minerva-dash-eye-eye-one? Minerva-el-el-one? Minerva-one-one-one? Or even Minerva-two-one? Very confusing nomenclature ...

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Need help

      In my head I was pronouncing it as Minerva two one.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Coat

    Easy to do

    Just butter one side of the lander, guaranteed to land that side down and stick.

    1. fedoraman

      Re: Easy to do

      Didn't Magnus Pyke(1) conduct a series of experiments on this?

      I recall his book, entitled "Butter side up!"

      (1) A UK Scientist, was a great science TV personality in the 70s, appeared on Tomorrow's World along with James Burke and Raymond Baxter.

      1. Garry Perez

        Re: Easy to do

        Those three presenters/scientists were a real inspiration (to me at least)

        1. ricardian

          Re: Easy to do

          A review of 50 years of "Tomorrow's World" - on BBC Radio 4 Extra this morning (Saturday)

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060qbwm

    2. Bitbeisser

      Re: Easy to do

      "Just butter one side of the lander, guaranteed to land that side down and stick."

      You should patent that trick and sell it to NASA! ;-)

  9. Stoneshop Silver badge
    WTF?

    a pair of tiny drum-like hopping robots

    Hopping? Should have been called 'rabbit' in Japanese, or maybe Miffy (1, 2 and 3).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: a pair of tiny drum-like hopping robots

      I’d like to think the inspiration was Lumpers. From Harry Harrison’s Wheelworld.

  10. Stratman

    I bet there's some interesting physics around the firing of a bullet into the surface, starting with Newton 3

  11. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Pint

    A pair of tiny hopping vampires...

    would have been more fun, and probably culturally correct, but nonetheless the traditional reward is indicated.

  12. Not also known as SC
    Windows

    Pity it was Posted on Twitter

    For a moment I actually thought that I'd consider joining Twitter so I can find out about these sorts of things first hand, so I followed this link

    — HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) September 21, 2018

    【MINERVA-Ⅱ1】

    Heeeeeeere weeeeee cooooome!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Ppcjr40SgG

    Although the top photo is amazing I couldn't help wondering about the other images in the post. Am I just a miserable git?

    1. John Gamble

      Re: Pity it was Posted on Twitter

      "Am I just a miserable git?"

      Yeah, a little.

      Twitter can be awful if you let anyone follow you. Always assume the worst, and block immediately. Your experience becomes much more pleasurable then.

  13. Scott Broukell

    No, no, no, no, no

    See, what you've got there right, are a load of replacement washing machine parts, only they've bloomin' gone and delivered the things to the wrong asteroid. Bloody typical. These were obvously destined for fixing the Rosetta probe!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: No, no, no, no, no

      So Amazon blew the delivery address on the order?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: No, no, no, no, no

      "See, what you've got there right, are a load of replacement washing machine parts, only they've bloomin' gone and delivered the things to the wrong asteroid. "

      Zanussi?

  14. spold Bronze badge

    Bouncers

    Krikkit! Krikkit!

    1. Roger Kynaston
      Pint

      Re: Bouncers

      You had better not hope that. They will evolve into a charming whimsical bunch of raving psychopaths who will seek to wipe out all life in the universe as it doesn't fit in their view.

      Beer (best Sapporo) for the boffins though.

  15. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
  16. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Alien

    Alien Cookout

    Ryugu looks like an old charcoal briquette from the solar system's first barbecue

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