NASA has announced its exploration plans to carry out on the Moon. In 2023, the aerospace agency aims to send a robot to find ice at the south pole of Earth’s natural satellite.
It is the Volatile Research and Polar Exploration rover, called Viper, which will be sent to the south pole of the Moon in a region known as the Nobile crater.
Through this robot explorer, NASA intends to confirm the presence of icy water under the lunar surface. So, in the long term, the idea is that this could become fuel for rockets that go on different missions in space.
“Once on the lunar surface, Viper will provide actual terrain measurements to locate the presence of water and other resources at the lunar south pole, and the areas surrounding the Nobile crater show the most promising in this scientific quest.” notes a NASA statement.
“The data Viper submits will provide lunar scientists around the world with a greater understanding of the cosmic origin, evolution, and history of our Moon, and will also help document future Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond, by enabling us to better understand the lunar environment in these previously unexplored areas hundreds of thousands of miles away.
Viper measures 1.5 meters by 2.5 meters and weighs 430 kilograms. It can be piloted almost in real time for the distance with the Moon and has a 50-hour battery that is recharged with solar energy.
The team in charge of the vehicle wants to find out how the ice water got to the satellite, how it was preserved and how far this element got.