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Japan Space Robots to Probe Asteroid 170 Million Miles From Earth

Photo illustration showing the MINERVA-II rovers

Photo illustration showing the MINERVA-II rovers

Source: JAXA

Updated on

Tokyo (AP) -- A Japanese spacecraft released two small rovers on an asteroid on Friday in a mission that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system.

The Japan Space Exploration Agency said the two Minerva-II-1 rovers were lowered from the unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 to the asteroid Ryugu. The spacecraft arrived near the asteroid, about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth, in June.