This year happens to be the 50th anniversary of man’s first landing on the moon. The credit for that goes to the United States. Now, the UK is planning to position a robot there to help expand knowledge about the heavenly body. Over the years, other countries have tried to explore it in their own ways and some have had a certain measure of success. China is an example. It landed its rover on the far side of the moon, which no other country has attempted.

Now it is the turn of the UK and, if things go as per plan, there could be its rover on the lunar surface in 2021. It will be another application of Artificial Intelligence. The robot weighing hardly 3.3 pounds (1.5kg) will walk on its legs instead of rolling on wheels. Independent UK says the success of the mission will mean the UK will become only the fourth country to have its rover on the moon. Others are the US, Russia, and China. A private Israeli company tried to position its rover but its lander crashed on the surface.

SpaceBit has designed the robotic spider

The idea of introducing a robot that can walk is a revolutionary one because the robots until now have been machines mounted on wheels. SpaceBit is a UK start-up space company that has created this device and it was unveiled at an event in London.

It was the New Scientist Live event at ExCeL. Pavlo Tanasyuk, the founder of SpaceBit says - “Our goal is to go there and see what is available there for all humanity to explore.” He explains the unique four-legged robot would operate more like a human and explore the lunar surface.

The Independent UK adds that there will be an American link. In May, NASA announced about awarding contracts to a firm for specific work-related to moon missions.

The scope of work involved carrying instruments of the space agency to the moon apart from payloads from other partners. SpaceBit will be one of those partners. It would send the spider rover to the moon inside Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander. The landing site is identified and the probable date of landing would be in June or July 2021. The battery-powered robot will have provision to harness solar power, be active during the day, and be able to withstand extremes of temperatures at night.

The rover will have two cameras

According to Manchester Evening News UK, the SpaceBit rover will be the contribution of the UK to the global moon mission. The spider-like robot moves on four legs instead of on wheels and has two cameras for taking 'robot selfies.' Scientists hope this robot will open up more areas of exploration that will benefit humanity. Its duration of stay on the alien surface will be for up to 10 lunar days as revealed by Mr.

Tanasyuk, its creator. During this time, it will take measurements, collect exploration data and send them back for analysis by scientists back home. There is no disputing the fact that Artificial Intelligence and robotics are set to play important roles in space exploration.

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