A UK company named Spacebit has announced its very own luna rover which it hopes will land on the Moon by the end of 2021. What makes Spacebit’s rover so different from other rovers is the fact that it will look more like a spider than a conventional rover.
Instead of moving around on regular wheels or tacks, the rover being developed by Spacebit will make use of arachnid-like legs to get around the Moon’s surface. The official name of the rover is the ‘Asagumo rover’ and is built from a single-unit CubeSat frame that is usually used for tiny satellites. The Asagumo rover also weighs in at just 1.3 kg and is completely solar-powered.
The rover will hitch a ride to the moon aboard the Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander spacecraft in Q3 of 2021 and will represent the UK’s first mission to the Luna surface. If the Asagumo rover does eventually make it to the Moon, its first mission will be to move around 10 meters away from the Peregrine lander before sending Full HD video plus 3D LIDAR data from its onboard sensors, according to Spacebit.
Seeing as the rover moves around on legs instead of wheels or tracks, it will be able to explore areas of the Moon conventional wheeled rovers are usually unable to reach. According to reports from Slash Gear, Spacebit CEO Pavlo Tanasyuk, believes the rover will be able to use its legs to search for viable options for humans to live when they eventually return to the Moon. This includes areas of the Moon like the seal entrance of a lava tube, which could be used as shelter.
Take a look at the Asagumo rover in action below: