The rover's name, Asagumo, is a part of the popular Japanese proverb saying "Morning spider brings fortune, night spider comes as a thief (Japanese: 朝の蜘蛛は福が来る、夜の蜘蛛は盗人が来る).
|Mission type||Exploration, resource prospecting|
|Mission duration||≈10-13 Earth days|
|Spacecraft type||Robotic lunar rover|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||2021 (planned)|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
|Landing date||July 2021|
|Landing site||Lacus Mortis region|
The Asagumo is a lunar rover by Spacebit planned to be delivered to the surface of the Moon as early as July 2021. The rover weighs just 1.3 kg and, instead of wheels, is equipped with four legs to walk the Moon's surface to collect the data from Lidar and other equipment. The robot will eventually be able to explore the "Lunar lava tubes". The rover will be landed on the Moon as early as July 2021.
The Asagumo rover, would also be the smallest lunar rover, at only 10 cm tall and 10 cm wide, and weighing just 1.3 kg. Its cube-shaped body will scuttle along on four spidery legs.
The pint-sized robotic lander, will hitch a ride aboard a NASA-funded mission to the cratered lunar surface. Equipped with four legs rather than wheels or tracks, the rover will be able to explore parts of the Moon other landers cannot reach.
The plan is to land their Astrobotic's Peregrine lander next to a pit located in the Lacus Mortis plain, then circumnavigate the pit with a rover, while a micro-rover called Asagumo (developed by Spacebit) enters the pit, that is thought to offer access to the lava tubes suspected to exist below the surface.
Future versions of the rover would be sent to explore tubular cave structures – subsurface tunnels, believed to have been formed by ancient balsatic lava flows – to see if they are viable locations in which to build future lunar habitats.
During the first mission however the rover is only scheduled to move 10 meters from Astrobotic's Peregrine lander. It will be equipped with cameras – one of which can take a "robot selfie”, and the capability to take full HD video plus 3D LIDAR data to gather a range of data.