THE UK is set to have its first mission to the moon next year.

In the third quarter of 2021, Spacebit UK will be sending a walking robot to survey and gather data about our nearest neighbour in space.

Labeled Mission 1, the four-legged robot - named Asagumo - will explore the lunar surface carrying out various information gathering tasks, all then beamed back to Earth via the mission lander.

The tiny robot which will be solar powered, will make extensive studies of the environment and geology of the moon, using its four arachnid-type legs to navigate its way over the lunar terrain.


Weighing just 1.3 kg, with a height and width both measuring 10 centimetres respectively, the Asagumo robot is the first of its kind, with its four-legged agility over differing lunar surface offering a ground-breaking approach to the exploration of the moon.

In October this year, Spacebit UK, also secured a second trip - dubbed Mission 2 - to the Moon, which is scheduled for the last quarter of 2021.

Both missions are courtesy of NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS).

With NASA's rocket technology, various countries have been able to take different instrumentation into space, with Spacebit UK the first British mission to target the moon.

The target landing site for Mission 2 is Vallis Schröteri (Schröter's Valley) in the Moon's Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms).

Spacebit UK said the site is "flat, free of craters and rocks, and has abundant sunlight" throughout the planned 14-day mission.

Mission 2 will see a larger wheeled lunar rover embark across the lunar surface, dispatching multiple Asagumo robots. This will allow Spacebit UK to explore a much wider expanse of the lunar surface.

A third mission is planned whereby a 'swarm' Asagumos will explore and photograph the network of lava tubes that exist under the moon's surface, then from 2030 onward, the plan is to establish a permanent site on the moon is envisaged.