Asagumo (rover)

Summary

Asagumo
Skynews-spacebit-rover-moon.png
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 typeExploration, resource prospecting
OperatorSpacebit
Mission duration≈10-13 Earth days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeRobotic lunar rover
ManufacturerSpacebit
Start of mission
Launch date2021 (planned)
RocketVulcan (rocket)
ContractorUnited Launch Alliance
Moon rover
Landing dateJuly 2021
Landing siteLacus 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.[1] 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".[2]

Overview

Image of Lacus Mortis featuring rilles (narrow depressions collectively called Rimae Bürg) thought to represent lava tubes beneath the surface, may be explored by the Asagumo lunar rover during Spacebit Mission One.[3]

In November 2019, the UAE also confirmed as an official testing location for new space technology of the Spacebit Asagumo (lunar rover), the smallest robotic Moon rover in the world with legs.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6][7]

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,[8] that is thought to offer access to the lava tubes suspected to exist below the surface.[9][10][3]

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.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ Clark, Stuart (2019-10-17). "Spacewatch: UK's first moon rover poised for 2021 touchdown". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  2. ^ October 2019, Mike Wall 12. "UK's 1st Moon Rover to Launch in 2021". Space.com. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  3. ^ a b 3D Printed structure of Lacus Mortis pit crater with assumption of a cave underneath. Ik-Seon Hong, Eunjin Cho, Yu Yi, Jaehyung Yu, Junichi Haruyama. 2nd International Planetary Caves Conference (2015).
  4. ^ silicon (2019-10-10). "UK spider-like moon rover will aim to make history in 2021". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  5. ^ Correspondent, Rhys Blakely, Science. "British start-up Spacebit will send rover to the moon". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2020-02-25.
  6. ^ "SpaceBit moon rover set to land on lunar surface in 2021". Sky News. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  7. ^ Browne, Ryan (2019-10-10). "Britain's first moon rover is a tiny four-legged robot that will launch into space by 2021". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  8. ^ Sheppard, Ian. "UK Lunar Lander Will Be Tested in UAE". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  9. ^ "3D Modeling of Lacus Mortis Pit Crater with Presumed Interior Tube Structure." Journal of Astronomy and Space Science 32(2); Pages: 113-120; June 2015.? doi:10.5140/JASS.2015.32.2.113
  10. ^ "Spacebit to unveil the UK's first Lunar Lander-Hopper at the Dubai Airshow 2019 – India Strategic". Retrieved 2020-02-01.
  11. ^ "Spacebit unveils the design of the UK's first Moon rover". Room, The Space Journal. Retrieved 2020-02-25.