Spacebit, the British space company, recently announced plans to send the lunar rover to the moon in 2021. This mission marks the first time that Britain has carried out a lunar surface mission.
Unlike the current mainstream lunar rover, the lunar rover called Walking Rover adopts a spider-like quadruped design and the main body is a cube.
It is powered by solar panels and stores energy on rechargeable batteries. The rover weighs about 1.3 kg and can be used with Swarm Intelligence. It is part of the modular robot platform, in addition to it can jump.
Such a design significantly lowers production costs, and the lunar rover is expected to be launched in the first ULA Vulcan mission in the third quarter of 2021.
It will board Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander spacecraft to the lunar surface. In the initial demonstration mission, the lunar rover will move 10 meters from the lander and send full HD video and 3D lidar data back to Earth from its on-board sensors.
Spacebit CEO Pavlo Tanasyuk said that with the plan of human return to the moon, explorers need to have a place to live. One of the options is to seal the entrance of the lava tube as a shelter.
Spacebit believes that the lunar rover can play a role in exploring this possibility.
Because the lunar rover walks on four legs instead of rolling on wheels, it can walk on rugged terrain and explore places that the lunar surface wheeled vehicles cannot reach.
The rover’s spider-like design makes it much better to climb than the wheeled rover. The company’s future missions may adopt a rover with the best design that combines wheels and legs.