If the first step of the Artemis missions will be & agrave; the return of man to the moon plus times & egrave; it was remarked that it will represent; only the beginning and this first step will do part of a pi & ugrave; extensive lunar exploration program that will see; the participation of the major space agencies of the globe.
Among these there will be & agrave; also the Japanese JAXA, which among the technologies in development for long-term missions has been building a pressurized rover for several years that can accommodate astronauts and assist them in the exploration of our natural satellite. We already had seen a concept whose realization would have been carried out together with Toyota, but for some time it was not; known more nothing. General Motors in collaboration with Lockheed Martin is also working on a similar technology, which will bring; to the creation of the Lunar Terrain Vehicle.
But finally there is a turning point, since & eacute; a few days ago JAXA released a press release in which it anticipates the intention to send a small transformable lunar robot to the moon, which will have; the task of collecting as much data as possible to help the engineering team develop the above pressurized rover.
Lunar robot concept
The idea is better understand the conditions in which it will move a possible means, therefore the main objective will be; collect data on the interaction with regolith (the lunar sand) and the reactions of a moving lunar medium. This robot will arrive to the Moon as a secondary payload of a future mission and will have; skill to transform itself into a self-propelled vehicle once it reaches the surface (this is a ploy to save space during its transport).
For now, JAXA has shared only two concept images visible above, thanks to which we can see the vehicle in a travel configuration (left) and in a version ready to move on the Moon (right). The robot peser & agrave; only 250 gr, will have; a diameter of 8 cm and will be; able to roll on the moon. Its sending & egrave; expected in 2022 by the company & agrave; ispace, which is & egrave; awarded a contract to complete the operations but not & egrave; A precise date has yet been outlined. The best Apple Smartphone? Apple iPhone 12, on offer today from Kasigra for 699 euros or from Amazon for 799 euros .