NASA Selects Moon Site For Ice-Hunting Rover

NASA Selects Moon Site For Ice-Hunting Rover

NASA's rover on the surface of the Moon.

Washington:

NASA on Monday announced it would land an ice-seeking rover on a region of the Moon's south pole called the Nobile Crater in 2023.

The space agency hopes the robot will confirm the presence of water ice just below the surface, which could one day be converted into rocket fuel for missions to Mars and deeper into the cosmos.

"Nobile Crater is an impact crater near the south pole that was born through a collision with another smaller celestial body," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's planetary science division told reporters.

It is one of the solar system's coldest regions, and has only so far been probed from afar using sensors such as those aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.

"The rover is going to get up close and personal with the lunar soil, even drilling several feet down," said Glazer.

The robot is called Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER.

Its dimensions are similar to a golf cart -- five feet by five feet by eight feet (1.5 meters by 1.5 meters by 2.5 meters) and looks somewhat similar to droids seen in Star Wars. It weighs 950 pounds (430 kilograms).

Unlike rovers used on Mars, VIPER can be piloted in near real time, because the distance from Earth is much shorter -- only around 200,000 miles (300,000 kilometers) or 1.3 light seconds.

The rover is also faster, topping out at 0.5 mph (0.8 kph).

Solar-powered VIPER comes with a 50-hour battery, is built to withstand extreme temperatures, and can "crab walk" sideways so that its panels keep pointing toward the Sun to maintain charging.

In terms of the mission's scientific goals, the VIPER team wants to know how frozen water reached the Moon in the first place, how it remained preserved for billions of years, how it escapes and where the water goes now.

The mission is part of Artemis, America's plan to return humans to the Moon.

The first crewed mission is technically set for 2024, but will likely take place significantly later as various aspects are running behind schedule.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news
Larry Kudlow: To save America, we must kill the bill.

Larry Kudlow: To save America, we must kill the bill.

Larry Kudlow discusses Biden’s war on energy threatening all Americans on 'The Ingraham Angle.' #FoxNews #Ingraham  Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing...

HGV driver shortage means new recruits can get rich by trucking.

HGV driver shortage means new recruits can get rich by trucking.

CAN you help keep Britain trucking? The Sun has laucnhed a new campaign to recruit tens of thousands of HGV drivers to beat the delivery crisis. Lorry drivers are vital to keep our nation functioning but the growing recruitment shortage has seen s...

CBSN Originals - Conspirituality: An (Un)Civil War: The Evangelical Divide.

CBSN Originals - Conspirituality: An (Un)Civil War: The Evangelical Divide.

A new episode of CBSN Originals' Reverb series reveals that as Christian nationalism attracts followers, traditional pastors fear for their faith and the country. Evangelical Christians are a powerful political force, but an extreme faction has di...

4 4911

Search For Stacy Peterson: Authorities Search Canal After Sister's Tip.

Search For Stacy Peterson: Authorities Search Canal After Sister's Tip.

Stacy Peterson has been missing since 2007 and is the fourth wife of convicted killer Drew Peterson. Stacy's sister gave authorities a video she obtained of skeletal remains found in a canal in Illinois. NBC News' Maura Barrett reports. » Subscrib...

Made in Bury: Elephant in the Room - Made in Britain.

Made in Bury: Elephant in the Room - Made in Britain.

A group of Bury and Rochdale residents who have lived through experiences such as prison, addiction, mental health problems and homelessness came together and called themselves the Elephants Trail. They want to be voice for others, hold local powe...

Tucker sounds off on Pennsylvania governor over bill dictating sex dialogue.

Tucker sounds off on Pennsylvania governor over bill dictating sex dialogue.

'Tucker Carlson Tonight' host reacts to Governor Tom Wolf's interest in American college students' sex lives. #FoxNews #Tucker #FoxNewsVoices Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is ...

3 1837