TOKYO – A Japanese space agency says more than 200 photographs taken by two small asteroid riders do not show any spot on the planned touchscreen of the spacecraft at the beginning of next year.
The Japanese aviation and space exploration agency said Thursday that two solar-powered rovers have become inactive and are likely to be in the shadows, but after three months they still respond to signals beyond the predicted life of several days.
The Rover's unmanned Hayabusa2 spacecraft fell to the asteroid Ruja, in September – about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth.
Many of the photos show the rocky surface of the asteroid, showing challenges to the planned tangent of Hayabusa2.
JAXA says it still plans to try to get to the ground to collect samples.