I can't infer this from this documentation or the presentation:

Do the ROVER-1A and ROVER-1B communicate with MINERVA-II-1, and it then relays to the Hayabusa2 "mothership", or do they communicate with it directly? Is the same valid for ROVER-2 and MINERVA-II-2?

The information on EOportal for MASCOT is pretty good, since it even goes into details enough to say that it uses CCSDS TM and TC standards, which is the kind of information that I was looking at for the landers.


I am fairly certain that what you are referring to as the "landers" are actually just cases for the rovers. MINERVA stands for "MIcro-Nano Experimental Robot Vehicle for the Asteroid". Note that its name only talks about rovers.

If you take a look at this picture (courtesy Sky and Telescope Magazine), you can see that the rovers are contained within a more or less empty shell.

enter image description here

Spaceflight101 has a good article which details how MINERVA-II will actually work. In particular, it says

Communications with the Hayabusa spacecraft are accomplished at data rates of up to 9,600 bits per second.

This abstract I found also says

They fall into the asteroid surface captured by the weak gravity and then start the autonomous exploration when the obtained data are transmitted to the relay module on the mother spacecraft

Based on this and other pictures I found, I think it's safe to conclude that the rovers will communicate directly with the spacecraft, not with any lander.

On a side note, I found a scientific paper discussing the mechanics of how the rovers will get around by "hopping" on the asteroid's surface.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you're right, but for the OP and future readers, can you expand on how "Based on this and other pictures I found..." works? What is it about the pictures (and physics) you are using for that conclusion? Since this is the only sentence that actually addresses the OP's question, it would be good to make it clearer. Also, vision impaired people may use other means to read things on the internet and so may not be able to evaluate the images. Also, the size of the rovers is salient, so perhaps stating it would be helpful as well to further avoid link-onlyness. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 26 '18 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ This is exactly the source of my confusion: some sites use "landers" and "rovers" interchangeably (see the spaceflight101 article for example...) or don't make this distinction, so I had no idea about what parts they were talking about when dealing with communications. The abstract from the JAXA people do clarify this, though, so I'll accept this answer anyways, thanks! $\endgroup$ – Yuri-M-Dias Sep 26 '18 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ I think that the reason for the confusion may be because these aren't really "rovers" in the typical sense. They'll actually be bouncing across the surface. $\endgroup$ – Phiteros Sep 27 '18 at 4:46

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