Spacebit

Spacebit is British privately held company that develops space robotics technology for lunar and planetary missions. Spacebit founded in 2014, is funded privately via Pavlo Tanasyuk himself, along with a couple of other private investors. The company is based in London, England. The company is fully funded through its first mission Spacebit Mission One.[1]

Spacebit
TypePrivate
IndustryAerospace, robotics
Founded2014
Headquarters
London, England
Key people
Products
  • robotic lunar landers and rovers
Number of employees
25 (As of 1 January 2020)
Websitewww.spacebit.com

The first launch of its lunar rover, called the Asagumo,[2][3] is expected to take place in July 2021[4][5] on a Vulcan Centaur rocket[6] in a berth aboard Astrobotic's Peregrine lunar lander.[7] The first mission will be performed by a single demonstration unit to prove out Astrobotic's technology, but the company intends to fly entire Asagumo swarms in later missions.[1] At the moment, the name of the second mission to the Moon in October 2021 is unknown, but its confirmation was announced together with SpaceX and Intuitive Machines.

HistoryEdit

Spacebit, founded in 2014, is funded privately via Tanasyuk himself, along with a couple of other private investors. This company is fully funded through its first mission, a berth aboard the Peregrine Moon lander being launched by Astrobotic in 2021. The first mission won't be an entire swarm, but a single rover sent up as a demonstration unit to prove out its technology.[8]

On 16 August 2018, Spacebit announced its collaboration with Goonhilly Earth Station, the UK satellite communications innovator and space gateway to develop the use of blockchain technology for space-based data applications and mission deployment.[9]

In September 2019, Spacebit announced the signing of an agreement to deliver the first UK lunar rover Asagumo on Astrobotic's upcoming mission in 2021 and named this "Spacebit mission one".[10]

“Our goal is to go there and see what is available there for all humanity to explore," said Spacebit CEO Pavlo Tanasyuk in a statement. "So we hope to find a stable temperature which will be suited for future human missions to the Moon," he added. "It is a rugged environment in the lava tubes so you can't really use wheels there – that was why we had to design these legs instead of wheels. It will spend up to 10 days on the Moon before going into the night and basically freezing forever."[11][12]

In November 2019, the UAE also confirmed as an official testing location for new space technology of the Spacebit ‘Spider Moon Rover’,the smallest robotic Moon rover in the world with legs.[13]

In December 2019, the Asagumo lunar rover was presented in Japan during The 3rd International Moon Village Workshop & Symposium.[5][14] Before the trip to Japan, the spider's name has been kept as a secret. Asagumo, translated as a "morning spider" and being a part of the Japanese mythology. The popular Japanese proverb says: "Morning spider brings fortune, night spider comes as a thief (Japanese: 朝の蜘蛛は福が来る、夜の蜘蛛は盗人が来る). Spacebit CEO Pavlo Tanasyuk was inspired by this belief when he heard the story during a visit to Japan.[15][16]

In October 2020, Spacebit has booked a second payload delivery to the moon, aboard the Nova-C lander that Intuitive Machines  is planning to send in 2021 as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. Spacebit already has a berth aboard the Astrobotic Peregrine lander that’s set to go to the moon in July 2021, flying atop a Vulcan Centaur rocket, and so this would follow quickly on the heels of that mission, with a current mission time frame of October 2021 to deliver the Intuitive Machines lander via a SpaceX Falcon 9.[17] Since this announcement, Spacebit is inviting university researchers to share data the London-based company obtains from two miniature rovers scheduled to travel to the moon with Astrobotic Technology and Intuitive Machines in 2021. “Our chief scientist will get the first access to the data,” Spacebit Founder Pavlo Tanasyuk told SpaceNews. “Then, we plan to release a certain degree of granularity of that data to the world scientific community. We want to encourage studies based on what we find there.” “Having a second mission definitely increases our chances for success,” Tanasyuk said. “We truly believe in the ability of Astrobotic to land on the moon. But obviously, there is always a chance of something happening, which is why having two missions gives us a greater opportunity to fulfill our promise to become the first UK mission on the moon.”

Lunar missionsEdit

Spacebit Mission OneEdit

In July 2017, Astrobotic announced an agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch their Peregrine lander aboard the Vulcan rocket.[18][19] The Mission One is planned to be launched in July 2021.[18][4]

By May 2019, Astrobotic's first lunar lander mission, simply called Mission One, had 14 commercial payloads including small rovers from Hakuto, Team AngelicvM,[20] and a larger rover from the Carnegie Mellon University named Andy that has a mass of 33 kg and is 103 cm tall.[21] An unusual miniature rover (1.3 kg) called Asagumo is included, and it moves on four legs.[22][23] It is a technological demonstrator and will travel a distance of at least 10 m (33 ft).[24] Other payloads aboard the lander is a library, in micro print on nickel, which will include Wikipedia contents and Long Now Foundation's Rosetta Project.[25][26]

In September 2019, Spacebit signed an agreement to deliver the first UK lunar rover Asagumo on Astrobotic's upcoming mission in 2021 and named this "Spacebit Mission One".[7][13][27]

The tiny, spider-like Asagumo robot will be the world's smallest robotic Moon rover – will crawl on the surface of the Moon to take photographs and gather data. The Spacebit rover weighs just 1.3 kg and, instead of wheels, is equipped with four legs to walk the Moon's surface to collect the data from Lidar and other equipment. Spacebit hopes that because of its legs and tiny size, the robot will eventually be able to explore lunar lava tubes.[3] These are subsurface tunnels, believed to have been formed by ancient basaltic lava flows.[28]

Astrobotic's Peregrine lander will carry a maximum payload mass of 90 kg (200 lb) during the Mission One,[29] and it is planned to land on Lacus Mortis, a relatively flat plateau at 44°N 25°E, and operate for about 8 Earth days. The payload mass for the planned second mission (Mission Two) is capped at 175 kg (386 lb), and the Mission Three and next missions will carry the full payload capacity of 265 kg (584 lb).[30][31] Astrobotic was selected today by NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program to deliver 14 payloads to the Moon on its Peregrine lunar lander in July 2021. With this $79.5 million CLPS award, Astrobotic has now secured 28 payloads for lunar delivery as part of its first mission. Fifty years after Apollo 11, Pittsburgh’s Astrobotic is returning America back to the Moon in partnership with NASA.[32]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Legged lunar rover startup Spacebit taps Latin American partners for Moon mission". TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 February 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Howell 2019-11-04T11:41:52Z, Elizabeth. "Spiders on the Moon: 'Walking' Robots Will Explore Lunar Crevices and Caves". Space.com. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Wall 2019-10-12T12:05:36Z, Mike. "UK's 1st Moon Rover to Launch in 2021". Space.com. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b "Astrobotic Awarded $79.5 Million Contract to Deliver 14 NASA Payloads to the Moon". Astrobotic Technology (Press release). 31 May 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b "Spacebit MeetUp. The story behind the first walking Moon rover, Asagumo". Eventbrite. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Astrobotic Selects United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur Rocket to Launch its First Mission to the Moon" (Press release). United Launch Alliance. 19 August 2019. Retrieved 20 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b "Astrobotic Awarded $79.5 Million Contract to Deliver 14 NASA Payloads to the Moon | Astrobotic". www.astrobotic.com. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Legged lunar rover startup Spacebit taps Latin American partners for Moon mission". TechCrunch. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Goonhilly – Goonhilly and Spacebit partner to accelerate commercial space exploration through blockchain technology". goonhilly.org. Retrieved 30 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Astrobotic, Spacebit agree to land first commercial payload on Moon". Aerospace Technology. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Spry, Jeff (24 October 2019). "Spider robots set to invade the Moon in 2021". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 30 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ silicon (10 October 2019). "UK spider-like moon rover will aim to make history in 2021". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 30 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ a b "Spacebit to unveil the UK's first Lunar Lander-Hopper at the Dubai Airshow 2019 – India Strategic". Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ "スペースビット、世界初の月面四足歩行ロボット「ASAGUMO」を世界に先駆け日本で初公開". Newsweek日本版 (in Japanese). Retrieved 30 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ Day1 Afternoon part 2019 The 3rd Moon Village Workshop Tokyo Session December 5, retrieved 30 January 2020 CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Spacebit on Instagram: "Throw back to our test-drive in Japan 🇯🇵 . During our Venture in Japan we took Asagumo to the Komokado Kazaana cave where it explored lava…"". Instagram. Retrieved 30 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Spacebit books a second trip to the moon via NASA's commercial lunar payload program". TechCrunch. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  18. ^ a b SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Will Launch Private Moon Lander in 2021. Mike Wall, Space.com. 2 October 2019.
  19. ^ Monday, Hailey Rose McLaughlin | Published; October 21; 2019. "United Kingdom engineers are sending this weird spider bot to the Moon". Astronomy.com. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Cole, Michael (19 March 2018). "Astrobiotic Ready to Become Delivery Service to the Moon". Spaceflight Insider. Retrieved 20 August 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ "Andy's Mission". Planetary Robotics Lab. Carnegie Mellon University. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Britain's first moon rover is a four-legged robot that will explore lunar tunnels. Ryan Browne, CNBC. 10 October 2019.
  23. ^ A lunar rover which will explore the moon on foot in 2021 was unveiled in London on Thursday. Reuters. 10 October 2019.
  24. ^ UK's 1st Moon Rover to Launch in 2021. Mike Wall, 'Space.com. 12 October 2019.
  25. ^ Wall, Mike (16 May 2018). "'Lunar Library' Aims to Preserve Humanity's History On the Moon (Wikipedia, Too)". Space.com. Retrieved 16 May 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ Grush, Loren (15 May 2018). "This nonprofit plans to send millions of Wikipedia pages to the Moon – printed on tiny metal sheets". The Verge. Retrieved 16 May 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ "Astrobotic and Spacebit Announce Agreement to Bring the First UK Commercial Payload to the Moon | Astrobotic". www.astrobotic.com. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ Hoggins, Tom (10 October 2019). "UK to send 'walking' spider robot to the moon in its first lunar rover mission". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ "Peregrine Lander". Astrobotic Technology. Retrieved 5 June 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ Wall 2019-10-12T12:05:36Z, Mike. "UK's 1st Moon Rover to Launch in 2021". Space.com. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ Clark, Stuart (17 October 2019). "Spacewatch: UK's first moon rover poised for 2021 touchdown". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 January 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ "Astrobotic Awarded $79.5 Million Contract to Deliver 14 NASA Payloads to the Moon | Astrobotic". www.astrobotic.com. Retrieved 15 September 2020.