UK Company Spacebit to Send Spider-like Rover Asagumo to the Moon by Summer 2021
British space firm Spacebit will be sending the Asagumo rover to the moon in summer 2021 with the help of US agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
The 10-cm-long Asagumo rover will have spider-like legs instead of wheels and will walk on the surface of the moon to collect data, reported Tech Times.
If the robotic spider lands on the moon then it will be for the first time that a British rover would reach the moon. Reportedly, it will be the first rover that has a Wi-Fi connection to the lander. A technology that has been built in the rover also ensures that it can fly back to the lander if the Wi-Fi connection is lost.
The mission will involve the Asagumo rover landing on the moon and exploring the surface with the help of the legs on the bumpy surface of the moon. It will also crawl through lava tubes in order to find if the underground locations are going to be suitable habitats for humans or not.
Apart from the spider-like legs, the space object also has a flat pad bottom which is similar to the ski-poles. The instruments that will be present in the rover can mine precious metals in future missions. Currently, the rover will carry the instruments to measure radiation.
The report says that the idea to build a rover with legs instead of wheels first came to the Spacebit founder Pavlo Tanasyuk when he was listening to the song The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie.
The founder believes that the Asagumo rover will play a role in sealing in the entrance of a larvae tube and transforming it into a shelter.
It will cost the company USD 4.1 million for launching the Asagumo rover. The first rover will be boarding the Commercial Lunar Payload Services, the first commercial mission by NASA in the summer of 2021.
The target for landing the rover is Schröter's Valley. The surface located in Moon's Oceanus Procellarum is ideal for landing because it has abundant sunlight and a smooth surface.
However, there are some reservations if the rover will be able to overcome the thick dusty layer of the moon called regolith. It is suspected that the dust can clog up the parts of the rover.
Apart from this mission, Spacebit plans to send a wheeled rover by the end of 2021. The mission will also include a walking rover along with the wheeled one if the first mission with Asagumo rover becomes successful.