22 February 2024

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Lunar Rover

Australian Lunar Rover Joins NASA’s Artemis Mission

After the crewed Artemis 3 mission, which is scheduled for the lunar surface in 2025, Australia plans to deploy a rover there. In a cooperative effort between NASA and the ASA, the Australian Space Agency, the rover will show off its ability to use in-situ resources. ASA is sponsoring a competition to choose the rover’s name.

Australia has disclosed intentions to send a lunar rover as part of the Artemis mission in the future. Like the Fregat upper stage did with Roscosmos’ Luna 25 mission, a lander and specialised stage located within the launch vehicle’s nosecone will propel the spacecraft into translunar orbit. The lander will conduct a controlled touchdown on the surface of the moon using onboard propulsion for the remainder of the mission.

Australia Launches Naming Contest for Rover Lunar Mission

The rover will move out on its six wheels after it lands on the moon and unfold its solar panels, which were stored for the voyage. Additionally, the rover will deploy a camera for exploring the lunar surface. A robotic arm with a scoop at the end will be part of the rover’s setup to gather lunar regolith. A comparable scoop will be included with the lander as well. Then NASA will try to get oxygen out of the lunar regolith. The early-stage designs for the rover are being developed by two Australian consortiums.

The rover does not yet have a name, thus Australia is hosting a contest where anybody may submit a name for the rover, including people and schools from all throughout the country. Out of all the entries, judges will choose four candidate names to move on to the public vote. By the end of the year, Australia intends to settle on a name for its lunar rover.

The mission is a part of NASA’s Trailblazer programme, which aims to use the Moon as a testing ground for developing the technologies needed for a long-term presence on Mars. Technology demonstrations will take place in lunar orbit or on the surface. For the initiative, NASA is collaborating with a number of international space organisations as well as commercial aerospace firms. Australia’s lunar rover might take off as early as 2026.