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NASA's new lunar rover will hunt moon water



The Rover – the volatile exploration Rover Exploration Rover, or VIPER for short – is about the size of a golf cart and will sample the moon's soil to look for evidence of water and ice.

The machine will collect data in about 100 days, which will be used to create the world's first maps of water resources on the moon, the space agency announced on Friday.

Scientists consider the lunar poles as promising places to look for water ice that can be used to provide oxygen for human breathing and hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel.

NASA directly detected the presence of water ice in 2009 when it crashed a large crater near the planet's South Pole and estimated that the moon had reservoirs that could amount to millions of tons of water ice.

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The use of scientific instruments, including a one-meter training and a neutron spectrometer system – a device that can detect the presence of hydrogen – VIPER will help scientists understand the location of water and more resources on the lunar surface and supports plans for its extraction.

"The key to the life of the moon is water – the same as that of Earth," said Daniel Andrews, project leader for the VIPER mission and director of engineering at the Ames Silicon Valley Research Center. , "Following the confirmation of lunar ice ten years ago, the question now is whether the moon really could contain the amount of resources we need to live outside the world. This rover will help us answer many of the questions we have about water is how much there is for us to use. "

The car, which is due to land on the lunar surface in December 2022, will collect data for different soil environments of the moon and indicate where other water can be found.

  The mobility systems of VIPER will be evaluated using a test bed, pictured.

"It's incredibly exciting to have a rover that will go to the new and unique environment of the South Pole to find exactly where we can get this water," Anthony Colapret, a VIPER project scientist said in a statement.

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"VIPER will tell us which places have the highest concentrations and how deep below the surface to go to get access to water," he said.

NASA has stated that its ambition is "to achieve a long-term sustainable presence on the moon – to enable humans to continue to Mars and beyond."


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