The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Minerva-II1 rover captured this view of asteroid Ryugu (bottom) and the Hayabusa2 spacecraft (at top right) just after the rover separated from the spacecraft on September 21, 2018.
"Each of the rovers is operating normally and has started surveying Ryugu's surface", JAXA said in a statement.
The 2 robotic vehicles were released on Friday, Japan time, after the Hayabusa2 descended from an altitude of 20,000 meters to 55 meters from the asteroid's surface.
Taking advantage of the asteroid's low gravity, they will jump around on the surface - soaring as high as 15 metres and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes - to survey the asteroid's physical features with cameras and sensors.
So far so good, but JAXA must wait for the Hayabusa2 probe to send data from the rovers to the earth in a day or two to assess whether the release has been a success, officials said.
"We are very much hopeful".
"I am so proud that we have established a new method of space exploration for small celestial bodies", said JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda. "I want to see the scenery of space seen from Ryugu's surface".
The cautious announcement came after a similar JAXA probe in 2005 released a rover that failed to reach its target asteroid.
The Hayabusa2, about the size of a large refridgerator and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA's first asteroid explorer, the Hayabusa - Japanese for falcon.
That probe, with help from NASA, returned from a smaller, potato-shaped asteroid in 2010 with dust samples - despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey - and was hailed a scientific triumph.
The tiny rovers are part of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Hayabusa2 asteroid sample-return mission.