NASA’s first lunar rover will be launched in 2021, and it’s smaller than a shoebox

NASA space agency has reached many heightsin the space sphere, but in some moments it lags far behind the agencies and private companies of other countries. The New Atlas edition noticed that the agency, although sending various instruments to the Earth’s satellite, did not have the experience of sending robotic lunar rovers. In 2021, the situation will change, because the agency has signed a contract for $ 79.5 million with Astrobotic - it will develop an unmanned vehicle that will go to the moon under the banner of NASA.

Astrobotic was founded in 2008.Professor Red Whittaker of Carnegie Mellon University to win the Google Lunar X Award. She is still taking orders from aerospace organizations, and this time she will be developing a tiny lunar rover for NASA. According to Whittaker, the device will be less than a shoebox, which will reduce its cost and the amount of energy consumed.

NASA's lunar rover will be the most compact in history.

Compared to Soviet and Chineselunar rover, the NASA device will be really tiny and light - its mass will not exceed 1.8 kilograms. Due to its compact size, sending it does not require a lot of money and space in the cargo compartments, but the four-wheel lunar rover will perform quite important tasks.

He is expected to explore the territoryMoon before landing other vehicles and send pictures of its surface to Earth. The space agency is prepared in advance for the fact that the device is unlikely to last longer than 15 days - that is how long the moonlit night lasts, during which the batteries of the device will be subjected to extreme temperatures and will probably fail.

NASA's lunar rover launch will take place in 2021

The device has no name yet, but it is already knownthat it will be launched in 2021. The place of his arrival will be the Moon Crater of the Lake of Death, located in the northeast of the visible side of the Earth’s satellite. In addition to the apparatus, another 14 parcels will be sent to the Moon, including a package of works of art “MoonArk” by artist Lowry Burgess. It will consist of two cameras, in which thousands of paintings, musical compositions and earth samples for the next generations of people are preserved.

One of the cameras of the MoonArk package, which will fly with the moon rover

Recall that in 2028 Russia intends tosend to the moon the interplanetary station "Luna-29", which requires a driver. It is believed that they will be a humanoid robot FEDOR, which can be read in our material.

Discuss this, and other news of science and technology, can be in our Telegram-chat. There you will always find someone to chat with!