Lunar Zebro is a faculty project of TU Delft, which aims to build the world’s smallest, lightest moon rover yet. The rover is designed entirely by a team of students, ranging from Bachelor students to Postdocs, in collaboration with its European Partners. The rover has the footprint of an A4 sheet paper and weighs approximately 2 Kgs. The Lunar Zebro project started in 2017 and aims to be flight-ready by 2022.
One of the most striking features of the rover is the C-shaped leg, which enables it to overcome obstacles of its height; performing much better than traditional wheels on rough terrain. One of the mission objectives of the rover is to demonstrate locomotion on the surface of the moon with its six C-shaped legs, which also lends the rover its name, i.e. Zes Benig Rover or Zebro. Once on the Moon, the rover’s main objective is to survive the harsh lunar conditions for one lunar day (14 Earth days) and communicate its location and health directly back to Earth.
The Lunar Zebro project also performs several analogue missions, to demonstrate its technology on the Earth and survive in a remote location with extreme characteristics that resemble the challenges of a space mission. The next analogue mission for the Zebro is the IGLUNA mission in July 2021 in Switzerland where the Zebro will demonstrate for the first time its swarming capabilities on top of Mount Pilatus.
The Lunar Zebro will serve as a stepping stone to test and validate swarming for space exploration and inter-planetary robotics, alongside providing a platform for students to be a part of an innovative future.