NASA to send its first mobile robot to search for water on the moon

The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration is planning to search for water and other resources on the moon in 2023. The US agency, as part of its Artemis program, is planning to send its first mobile robot to the Moon in late 2023 in search of ice and other resources on and below the lunar surface. The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER will collect data that would help NASA map resources at the lunar South Pole that could one day be harvested for long-term human exploration at the Moon.

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About the VIPER:

  • The data received from VIPER has the potential to aid our scientists in determining precise locations and concentrations of ice on the Moon and will help us evaluate the environment and potential resources at the lunar south pole in preparation for Artemis astronauts.
  • VIPER runs on solar power. It will be required to quickly manoeuvre around the extreme swings in light and dark at the lunar South Pole.
  • NASA has awarded a task order to Astrobotic for VIPER’s launch, transit and delivery to the lunar surface as part of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • 14th NASA administrator: Bill Nelson;
  • Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States;
  • NASA Founded: 1 October 1958.

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