The UoS Lunar Hopper is a prototype VTVL Lunar Rover that was handed to the Spaceflight Society after four years as a Faculty of Engineering and the Environment GDP, and is powered by one of the UK’s only student-built hybrid rocket motors.
Originally designed to rival the Google Lunar X-Prize, the vehicle uses its’ 400N hybrid rocket motor for propulsion along with nitrogen to provide attitude control, purging operations and act as a pressurant. The vehicle is powered by a sensor suite to determine actuation of the solenoid valves on the top of the vehicle.
The Lunar Hopper was received structurally unsound, untested, and with nonfunctioning electronics. To this end, following the securing of funds via SUSU, the vehicle is undergoing a full restoration by the Spaceflight Society, including a structural re-fit, new 3D prints from project partners CREAT3D and Singular MARS, as well as electronics re-development and testing procedures.
This year’s development focuses on finalising structural and electronics testing, and moving the project into the testing phase for a flight date no-earlier-than Q2 2018.