02:41 GMT25 January 2021
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    According to the report, the robot, designed by London-based Spacebit, is expected to join the NASA mission, landing on the lunar surface next summer, which will be the first step towards Britain having a rover on the Moon.

    Britain is to launch a little "space spider" Asagumo probe to the Moon in 2021, the Telegraph reported.

    The designers opted for multiple legs instead of wheels so that Asagumo can pick its way over rough terrain, and crawl through underground lava tubes, which might provide a shelter for lunar bases or even colonies in the future.

    "There are plans to return to the Moon in the future and we will have to live somewhere, and one option might be to seal the entrance of the lava tube and use that as a shelter... We believe this rover will play a role in exploring that possibility. It will be walking across the Moon, not driving, so it can go on rugged terrain and explore those parts you can’t get to normally," Spacebit CEO Pavlo Tanasyuk said.
    "If you want to go long distances you take the car, but if you want to climb something, you use your legs, so it’s more suited to that kind of exploration."

    Spacebit is also hoping to launch a second rover - this time on wheels - to the Moon at the end of 2021, adding that in future missions, the walking probe may ride on the wheeled rover until the terrain becomes too bumpy, and then proceed with the mission alone.

    Tags:
    land rover, Rover, United Kingdom, moon mission, Moon
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