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Minerva II Rover-2



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. The Minerva II Rover-2 (ULULA) was the third of these to be deployed. Unfortunately, the rover had failed before deployment and so could not be used for it's intended operations.

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.

Rover 2 is a 1 kg octagonal prism, 15 cm in diameter and 16 cm high. It carries two cameras, a temperature sensor, and an accelerometer. It also has optical and ultraviolet LEDs for illumination. Power (2 W) was to be provided by solar cells.

Since Rover-2 had failed before deployment, it was deployed into orbit on 3 October 2019 to act as a gravity experiment. The rover impacted the asteroid on 8 October.

Alternate Names

  • Hayabusa2 Minerva 2 Rover 2
  • MINERVA-II2 Rover-2
  • MinervaIIRover2
  • urn:jaxa:darts:context:instrument_host:rover.minerva2-2_ulula

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2014-12-03
Launch Vehicle: H-2A
Launch Site: Tanegashima, Japan
Mass: 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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