Private Japanese spaceflight company ispace has unveiled a mini rover that will carry out its next moon landing mission next year.
The micro rover will be launched in winter 2024 in the cargo bay at the top of ispaceof the Mission 2 lander, if everything goes as planned.
The rover measures 10.24 inches (26 centimeters) high, 12.4 inches (31.5 cm) wide and 21.26 inches (54 cm) long, and it will weigh about 11 pounds (5 kilograms). It will carry a front-mounted HD camera, which it will use to take images of moon the dirt he picks up with a shovel.
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“Continued mission operations are essential to providing transportation and data services to the Moon, so I am pleased to announce the progress we have made on the Mission 2 lander flight model and design final micro rover,” said Takeshi Hakamada, founder and CEO of ispace. said in a statement in November 16.
The company launched its first lunar mission, the Hakuto-R Landerin December 2022. Hakuto-R attempted to land on the Moon in April this year, but the spacecraft’s onboard computer misjudged its altitude, leading to an error. forced landing.
Mission 2 is also based on the Hakuto-R lander, which weighed about 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg) at liftoff. The new mission incorporates lessons learned from Mission 1 and improved software, ispace representatives said.
The company chose the name Resilience for the lander, in keeping with its motto “Never Quit the Lunar Quest.” The Mission 2 lander will carry five payloads to the lunar surface.
ispace is also working on Mission 3scheduled to launch in 2026. This mission will use the new, larger Apex 1.0 lunar lander, which has a projected payload capacity of 1,100 pounds (500 kg).