UK’s first moon rover will be heading for a moon landing in 2021. The relatively small moon lander is the smallest of its kind in the world and has legs instead of the traditional wheels. The resemblance of the machine is somewhat that of a spider.
The robot will be walking over the surface of the moon with the aim of informing future missions of the surroundings that await them. If the attempt is unsuccessful, the UK will be the fourth ever nation to land a rover on the moon after USA, Russia, and China.
A private Israeli company has recently attempted the same but the effort was wasted as the rover crashed on the surface of the moon.
The UK robot was unveiled during the New Scientist Live event which took place at London’s ExCeL
The UK’s first-ever moon rover will head to the lunar surface in 2021.
The tiny robotic lunar lander – the smallest ever made – has legs instead of wheels and resembles a spider.
It will walk over the moon’s surface with the aim of informing future human missions.
If successful, the UK will become only the fourth ever country to put a rover on the moon, after the US, Russia, and China. A recent attempt by a private Israeli company ended in disaster when the lander crashed on the surface.
Unveiled during the New Scientist Live event at London’s ExCeL, the robot was designed by UK start-up space company SpaceBit. The founder of the company Pavlo Tanasyuk has said that their goal is to see what the options are for exploration on the lunar surface. He said that unlike the rovers which have wheels or tracks, the legs on the robot will give the UK an opportunity to explore in a fashion that is more human for them.
In May, American NASA has announced that Astrobotic and two more companies have been given the funding to build lunar landers. The company was given massive funding to carry 14 NASA instruments into space and 14 payloads from other companies.
SpaceBit is one such partner company and us sending the rover to the surface of the moon in the Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander. The landing is expected to take place near the region called Mare Serenitatis, or the Sea of Serenity in June or July of 2021.
The lander will deposit the 1.5kg rover onto the surface of the moon along with the other payloads. It will then scuttle across the lunar surface and take measurements and collect exploration data. The rover runs on battery but also harnesses solar power. Two cameras on the robot will allow it to take pictures and send them back to the planet.
The reason for the legs is that the robot will be able to enter lava tubes in the coming missions which have not been achieved yet. After the landing, exploration will begin and the environment will be examined.
Hopefully, a stable temperature will be found for human missions to take place later. The environment is rugged and lava tubes do not allow tracks or wheels to go in. the SpaceBit rover can take temperatures of up to 130C and -130C in the night. It will spend 10 days on the moon, and then freeze for the rest of eternity.
In all likeliness, the children of the UK will be asked to enter a competition naming the robot.