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Minerva II Rover-1B



Hayabusa2 is a Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) mission designed to rendezvous with asteroid 162173 Ryugu and return a sample. Hayabusa2 carried three MINERVA-II rovers, which actually use internal rotating masses to "hop" across the surface. Two of the rovers, Rover-1A (HIBOU) and Rover-1B (OWL), are each 18 cm diameter, 7 cm tall cylinders with a mass of 1.1 kg. They are equipped with a stereo camera, wide-angle camera, and temperature sensors. Power (2 W) is provided by solar cells. They were deployed on 21 September 2018.

Hayabusa2 launched on 3 December 2014 at 04:22:04 UT (13:22:04 local Japanese Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center on an H2A rocket. It used an Electric Delta-V Earth Gravity Assist technique to reach the asteroid, flying by Earth on 3 December 2015 with a closest approach at 10:07 UT, and arriving at asteroid 162173 Ryugu on 27 June 2018, stationkeeping at a distance of 20 km. The position was periodically lowered for observations and rover deployment.

The MINERVA-II Rovers 1A and 1B were deployed on 21 September 2018 at 04:06 UT from about 55 meters above Ryugu's surface. Both rovers landed successfully on the surface and transmitted images and data. It was also reported that both rovers were moving on the surface after landing.

Alternate Names

  • Hayabusa2 Minerva 2 Rover 1B
  • MINERVA-II1 Rover-1b
  • MinervaIIRover1B
  • OWL
  • urn:jaxa:darts:context:instrument_host:rover.minerva2-1_owl

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2014-12-03
Launch Vehicle: H-2A
Launch Site: Tanegashima, Japan
Mass: 1.1 kg
Nominal Power: 2 W

Funding Agency

  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



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