|Mission type||Lunar lander, rover|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||July 2021|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance (ULA)|
|Landing site||Lacus Mortis|
Spacebit Mission One is the UK's first planned robotic lunar mission; the rover is being designed by the privately held company Spacebit in collaboration with Yuzhmash. Its main goal is to deliver the Asagumo lunar rover to the surface of the Moon and demonstrate a new lunar exploration technology related to lunar lava tubes, which is expected to result in more sustainable lunar exploration.
Spacebit Mission One is scheduled to launch in July 2021.
Astrobotic's first lunar lander mission, called Mission One, is planned to have 14 commercial payloads. These include small rovers from Hakuto and Team AngelicvM and a larger rover from Carnegie Mellon University named Andy. It will also include an unusual miniature rover of 1.3 kg, called Asagumo, that moves on four legs. Asagumo is a technological demonstrator that is planned to travel a distance of at least 10 m (33 ft).
In September 2019, Spacebit signed an agreement to deliver Asagumo, the UK's first lunar rover, naming the project Spacebit Mission One. Spacebit founder Pavlo Tanasyuk, had invested his earnings from selling his former company (a payment system called MoneyXy) in other space projects which were the predecessors to Spacebit.
On November 18, 2019, the CEO of Spacebit, Yuzhnoye Design Buro, unveiled a new Lunar Lander-Hopper prototype at the Dubai Airshow, while also announcing the UAE as the official testing location for a Spider Moon Rover — "the smallest robotic Moon rover in the world with legs." The lander was developed over two to three years with engine testing starting earlier. The Spider Moon Rover was due to be launched formally in 2020. The precise testing location in Abu Dhabi has yet to be identified.
"Our Lunar Lander is different as it incorporates the ability to 'hop' from one landing site to another," said Tanasyuk. It will be designed to deliver "150 kg or more of payload" to one landing point or "50 kg or more" to up to three remote landing points on the lunar surface within a distance of up to 20 km, said Spacebit. 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 Astrobotic's Peregrine lander next to a pit located in the Lacus Mortis plain, then circumnavigate the pit with another rover while Asagumo enters the pit, which is thought to offer access to the lava tubes suspected to exist below the surface.