Japan plans to send a baseball-sized rover to explore the lunar surface in 2022.
Japanese company ispace will deliver a small rover to the moon to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) using a commercial HAKUTO-R lander. JAXA will use the rover to photograph the moon. and collecting information about moon dust which is a corrosive substance known to be difficult for people and machines. the space agency said
It appears that JAXA’s “transformable moon robot” will be the second robot in iSpace’s launch mission. As the company announced last month it would send a probe from the United Arab Emirates called Rashid. If the mission is successful Japan and the United Arab Emirates will join a small group of countries to successfully land a lunar lander. After the Soviet Union, the United States and China
Lunar timeline: human exploration of the moon
There are currently few details about the Japanese robot which are still in development. The design, based on the images and information provided in the JAXA press release, appears to be a 3-inch (80mm) diameter sphere that opens to revolve around the lunar surface on two wheels.
“The transformable lunar robot will be an ultra-compact and lightweight robot capable of exploring in harsh lunar environments,”; JAXA added, adding that JAXA is small and weighs only 250 grams, “contributing to its volume. dropped during transport to the moon Therefore, it is expected to play an active role in future lunar exploration missions as well.”
JAXA said the robots consisted of work from partners Sony, TOMY Company and Doshisha University, adding that the agency would “Continue research studies to realize international space exploration using opportunities and technologies offered by commercial companies.”
A representative of iSpace said of this car. “Small two-wheeled rover” in its own press release. The company also said it would oversee “communication and operations during robotic exploration of the lunar surface” from the lander.
Mission sizing from ispace will aid in JAXA’s plans to deploy the “Lunar Cruiser”., The company says the Lunar Cruiser is a high-pressure astronaut rover ready for lunar driving by 2029. Possible research includes automation and driving technology, ispace said.
JAXA previously used space exploration technology on asteroid Ryugu in 2018 during the Hayabusa2 sample return mission. Due to the asteroid’s low gravity making traditional wheeled travel difficult, Japanese HIBOU and OWL robots jumped on it. Instead, on the surface of the asteroid, a “torcher” is used in its interior, which sits on a disk-shaped turntable.
Japan’s announcement of a lunar robot comes from two other major space exploration projects that went public just hours ago.
Lockheed Martin and GM announced Wednesday (May 26) that they will collaborate to build a new astronaut lunar vehicle for NASA’s Artemis lunar landing program, which could potentially bring people on the moon faster. best in 2024 on the same day Canada announced plans To place lunar exploration robots on the surface by 2026 in collaboration with NASA, among other funding projects. Canada’s lunar
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