Ispace intends to create a small lunokhod for the Japanese Aerospace Research Agency (JAXA) and test it on the moon. Japan expects to do with this device snapshots of the Earth’s satellite and study regolith (Lena) with high corrosion exposure.
«The transformable moon robot “will be the second in the debut mission ispace. It is known that a similar contract company concluded with the Arab Emirates. If the mission is crowned with success, Japan and the UAE will join the small club of countries that managed to organize soft landings of spacecraft on the moon – after the USSR, USA and China.
About the project is still known to a little. Judging by the Jaxa granted images, the lunar mini rover is a 80 mm metal ball weighing 250 grams, capable of moving along the surface of the planet on two wheels. According to JAXA, the volume of the robot will be reduced by the time of transportation, and in the future it will take an active part in the lunar missions. For movements and communication with moonwalk will be monitored using the boarding module. Telemetry from the mini-robot will also help JAXA when creating a “lunar cruiser” – a large lounge intended for transportation of astronauts. It is expected that he will be ready for 2029.
Shortly before that, Lockheed Martin and General Motors stated on more large-scale projects, intentionally to create “Lunar Buggy” for the piloted NASA Artemis program. In its framework it is planned to land for people on the moon already in 2024. On the same day, May 26, Canada announced plans to land on the moon by 2026 its own robotic lunokhod. In this project will also take part NASA.