NASA sends a mobile rover to the South Pole of the Moon to search for frozen water tanks in 2022, in the same area where astronauts are scheduled to ship in 2024.
About the size of a golf cart, Viper will travel several miles, using his four scientific instruments , including a 1 meter drill, to test different soil environments.
Viper is planned to visit the lunar surface within three years and collects approximately 100 days of data that will be used to create the world's first hydraulic resource maps of the moon.
"The key to living on the moon is water, the same as here on earth" said Daniel Andrews, Viper project manager and technical director at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.
"Since the confirmation of the lunar ice age ten years ago, pre The question now is whether the moon can really contain the amount of resources we need to live off our planet. This mobile vehicle will help us answer the many questions we have about where the water is and how much there is for us to use . "He added in a statement.
Researchers had long regarded the lunar poles as promising places to find water ice, a resource of direct value to people who could provide oxygen to breathe and hydrogen and oxygen to feed future landings and rockets. The gradient of the moon creates permanently shaded regions where Vattenis from the influence of comets and meteorites, as well as the sun's interaction with lunar earth can gather without melting of sunlight.
In 2009, NASA crashed with a rocket against a large crater near the South Pole and immediately discovered the presence of water ice. Data from this mission and other orbits have confirmed that the moon has a reservoir. You go for water ice, potentially amounting to millions of tons. Now we need to understand the location and nature of water and other potentially available resources to help plan how to extract and collect it.
"It is incredibly exciting to have a rover that goes to the new and unique environment on the South Pole to discover exactly where we can harvest that water," says Anthony Colaprete, a VIPER project scientist. "VIPER will tell us which places that have the highest concentrations and how deep below the surface you should go to access water. "
When the rover crosses the surface, it will use the neutron spectrometer system, known as the NSS, to detect" wet "areas below the surface. Viper will then stop and distribute a drill, called Trident, developed with Honeybee Robotics to dig into the ground up to one meter below the surface.
These drill samples are then analyzed with two instruments: the mass spectrometer MSolo, developed by NASA's Kennedy Space Center; the infrared volatile spectrometer system, known as NIRVSS, developed by Ames. MSolo and NIRVSS will determine the composition and concentration of potentially available resources, including water, that Trident came up with.