NASA chooses lunar noble craters for ice-hunting rover landing in 2023

NASA announced on Monday that it will land an ice-seeking rover in an area called Nobile Crater in Antarctica on the Moon in 2023.

Space agencies want robots to see the presence of water ice just below the surface of the water. This could one day be converted to rocket fuel for missions. Mars And deep in the universe.

“The Nobile Crater is a collision crater near Antarctica created by a collision with another small object,” said director Lori Glaze. NASA The planetary science department told reporters.

It is one of the coldest regions of the solar system and has been investigated only from a distance so far, using sensors such as NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and Lunar Crater observation and sensing satellites. ..

“Rover can approach the lunar soil and even drill a few feet down,” Glazer said.

This robot is called Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER).

Its dimensions are similar to a golf cart-5 feet x 5 feet x 8 feet (1.5 meters x 1.5 meters x 2.5 meters) Star Wars.. It weighs 950 pounds (430 kilograms).

Unlike the rover used on Mars, VIPER is much shorter from Earth, only about 200,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) or 1.3 light seconds, so it can be maneuvered in near real time.

The rover is also fast, reaching top speeds at 0.5 mph (0.8 km).

The solar-powered VIPER comes with a 50-hour battery, designed to withstand extreme temperatures, and “walks the crab” sideways so that the panel can keep charging while facing the sun. can do.

From the perspective of the mission’s scientific goals, the VIPER team wants to know how frozen water first reached the moon, how it was preserved for billions of years, how it escaped, and where the water is now going. I think.

The mission is part of Artemis, America’s plan to bring humans back to the moon.

The first manned mission is technically set for 2024, but it can be quite late due to various aspects that are behind schedule.

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