(Above) A still image captured by one of the rovers. For the video, see below. Image Credit: JAXA
Japan's space agency has revealed the first ever video footage recorded from the surface of a moving asteroid.
The asteroid in question - Ryugu - is currently being explored by two 'hopping' rovers as part of JAXA's groundbreaking MINERVA-II1 program as well as by the orbiting Hayabusa2 spacecraft.
The footage consists of 15 frames captured over a period of approximately 90 minutes and offers a unique glimpse of what it might be like to stand on the surface of an asteroid hurtling through space.
"I cannot find words to express how happy I am that we were able to realize mobile exploration on the surface of an asteroid," said project manager Yuichi Tsuda.
"I am proud that Hayabusa2 was able to contribute to the creation of this technology for a new method of space exploration by surface movement on small bodies."
Next month, another, much larger rover called MASCOT will be deployed, followed by another hopping robot next year. The mission's ultimate goal will be to retrieve a sample of rock and return it to Earth.
It is hoped that the findings will help to teach us more about the origins of the solar system.