Spacebit Mission One will be the UK’s first planned robotic lunar mission, and the main objective is to deliver the Asagumo lunar rover Moon’s surface as well as demonstrating a new lunar exploration technology related to lunar lava tubes. This solar-powered rover is built on a single-unit CubeSat frame traditionally used for small satellites, and it weighs in at just 2.9-pounds. Rather than wheels or tracks, it uses four spider-like legs for mobility. Read more for a video and additional information.
Its unique design makes the rover very inexpensive to build, and its four legs allow it to easily traverse rugged terrain with ease as well as accessing surfaces that are inaccessible to standard rovers. However, the company may eventually build rovers with both legs and wheels. The company tested Asagumo in Japan’s Komokado Kazaana cave to study lava tubes, which could resemble the ones found on the lunar surface.
- Features a detailed replica of the Eagle lunar lander with a depiction of the lunar surface, with a crater, footprints and a U.S. flag
- This modular model features a descent stage with gold-colored landing pads and panels, opening camera, laser hatches, and a movable ladder
- The ascent stage has a detailed interior with room for 2 astronauts. The model is finished with an Apollo 11 Lunar Lander nameplate
This ‘test-drive’ was definitely symbolic for expressing the rover’s tight connection to its Japanese name. Asagumo’s lava tubes exploration is a huge step not only for Spacebit but for lunar technology and development advancement,” said the company.