1622401154 japan wants to send transforming spherical robot to the moon

Japan Wants to Send Transforming Spherical Robot to the Moon

Convertible lunar robot (left: before the change, right: after the change)
Convertible lunar robot (left: before the change, right: after the change) Jaxa

Soon the Moon may be visited by a cheerful round robotic friend. The Japanese space agency, JAXA, has announced plans to build a transforming lunar rover to explore the moon ahead of its planned crew mission there.

To travel in the lunar regolith – the dusty, clay-like substance that covers the lunar surface – the rover will be able to transform from its ball-like travel form, designed as compact and efficient as possible, to a happily named ” Running form “which he will use to move around the lunar atmosphere. It will take surface photographs to learn more about the topography and properties of the regolith, to help engineers design more efficient crew rovers.

The round rover will be just a few inches across, or slightly larger than a tennis ball, and weigh about 250 grams (8.8 ounces). To pack all the necessary technology into this small form, JAXA is partnering with the Tommy Toy Company and Doshisha University, with technology also contributed by Sony.

JAXA says it aims to launch the Mini Rover in 2022, followed by a much larger Rover in 2029. This large rover will be pressurized and astronauts will be allowed to cover larger areas of the lunar surface and explore more widely. JAXA will also work with NASA for its Artemis mission on the Moon.

“In 2019, the Government of Japan decided to participate in the Artemis program, which was proposed by the US,” said JAXA Vice President Hiroshi Sasaki. “Based on the decision, JAXA is promoting mission development and systems studies on international space exploration targeting the Moon and Mars by gathering Japanese technologies and knowledge.

“In particular, crew pressurized rovers will play a key role in developing mobility on the lunar surface for sustainable exploration activities. Data on the lunar surface can be obtained using transformable lunar robots that space exploration innovation hubs and commercial companies. Is the production of a lunar landing mission. Using the best of the data, we will certainly proceed with studies on the crude pressurized rover. “

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