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Ball-like rover called Sora-Q

Japanese space agency JAXA is featured in this fresh article on Nature Portfolio (paid content, i.e. advertisement) article. It covers nicely the Japanese space activities, but the project that pops out – not only in the main image – is a funny-looking rover called Sora-Q.

JAXA developed this baseball-sized moon probe with Sony, Doshisha University and toy maker Takara Tomy. The small rover will examine the surface of the moon and transmit pictures to the Earth.

It was sent to the moon already aboard the ill-fated Hakuto-R M1 and the second one is on its way to lunar surface with the Japanese SLIM spacecraft that was launched on 9 September 2023.

JAXA's page for this rover, officially known as LEV-2, is here, more photos of this rover can be seen here and possibly the best article in English is this one on New Yorker.