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NASA prepares its VIPER rover to search for water on the Moon before astronaut missions

The NASA’s Artemis program has the objective of taking the man (and the woman) back to the Moon, but before sending astronauts this organization wants to try to find water in areas never before explored.

For it will send the new rover, called VIPER, to the South Pole of the Moon, very close to the so-called Nobile Crater. It will be there that this small vehicle in the shape of a shopping cart will try to find frozen water.

Samples that will allow detecting ice on the Moon

The mission will take place in 2023 and will make VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) explore an area that according to NASA “It is one of the coldest in our Solar System“.

The Nobile Crater is especially interesting because it is almost permanently covered in shadows, which would make it easier for the ice to exist and be conserved there. Even so, VIPER will visit areas that are in the shade but always having access to sunlight to recharge., and will have a line of communication with the Earth, something that is also a key factor in choosing the place of deployment of the mission.

VIPER collect samples from at least three drilling locations, and the analysis of those samples at different depths and temperatures will help scientists to more accurately predict the presence of ice in other terrains, “allowing NASA to create a global map of resources.” That map could be crucial for future manned missions that will bring astronauts back to the Moon.

More information | POT