High-tech Mexican micro-robots to travel to lunar surface: Mexican Space Agency

  • 5 small devices equipped with unique technological innovations for space exploration and research
  • Colmena was the first of three space missions Mexican state before 2030
  • It takes 4 to 6 weeks to land on the moon A series of tests
  • The Colemena project was developed at the Space Instrumentation Laboratory (LINX) of UNAM's Institute of Nuclear Sciences.

The Colmena project is the first of three missions to the Moon before 2030 by the Mexican government, which aims to autonomously build and operate large swarms of micro-robots in the interplanetary environment and on surfaces exposed to asteroids.

The Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport (SICT) through the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) indicated that in this first phase five micro robots with unique innovations will be transported to carry out research studies.

Micro-robotics stand out for operating in space conditions and lunar dust or regolith; autonomous navigation; New ways to get energy; Passive damping systems for high and low temperatures and quick transitions between them; Survival of extreme radiation conditions using new materials; Electronics and sensors are embedded in additively manufactured polymers; and recovering high-value minerals on the Moon and asteroids.

The mission aboard the Peregrine lunar lander will take off next Monday, January 8, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and will reach the moon in 4 to 6 weeks. to perform during his journey.

Among the experiments carried out by these micro-robots, the following stand out: temperature measurements 1 cm from the lunar surface and its evolution with the inclination of the Sun; Attenuation and radio diffusion in the boundary layer, as well as the dielectric constant of lunar dust-rich plasma.

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They also measure the diameter of levitating regolith or lunar dust particles; The kinetics of ballistic regolith particles and their effect on the coverage of solar panels, as well as the aging of polymeric materials, are various other studies.

The Hive project seeks to characterize the problems that arise when using such small technology in a hostile space environment; Check the strategies adopted to mitigate the effects of rocket vibration and shocks, sudden temperature variations, extremely high radiation, electromagnetic interference and lunar regolith, which are greatly amplified due to the extreme miniaturization of Colmena.

Additionally, it will study the layer closest to the lunar surface, where plasma from the solar wind mixes with floating regolith particles as they become electrostatically charged by solar ultraviolet radiation.

Complementing subsequent missions, the Mexican Space Agency will develop technologies that will allow Mexico to be an efficient actor in the new era of lunar science and economic activity that will begin this decade.

It is important to highlight that COLEMENA, developed entirely at the Space Instrumentation Laboratory (LINX) of the UNAM Institute of Nuclear Sciences, represents an opportunity for the space industry, which is experiencing a historic transition known as New Space (or “New Space”). „).

Mexican Space Agency Director Salvador Landeros Ayala and Transportation Undersecretary Rogelio Jimenez Ponce will attend the launch in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Aspirants can follow the proceedings online starting at 01:18 AM on Monday 8th January through the following link. https://www.youtube.com/live/wZ6KTFMHenA?feature=shared

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