NASA begins constructing ice-hunting Moon rover

Artist's concept of the VIPER rover working in lunar darkness.

Enlarge / Artist’s idea of the VIPER rover working in lunar darkness. (credit score: NASA/Daniel Rutter)

The seek for ice on the Moon’s poles has loomed giant within the discipline of lunar science since an instrument on an Indian satellite tv for pc found water molecules inside shadowed crater flooring greater than a decade in the past. NASA is now assembling a golf cart-size rover to drive into the darkish polar craters to seek for ice deposits that could possibly be utilized by future astronauts to make their very own rocket propellant and breathable air.

“A big group of individuals have been engaged on this concept for 10-plus years,” mentioned Anthony Colaprete, challenge scientist for NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) mission.

Earlier this 12 months, engineers at NASA’s Johnson Area Middle in Houston began constructing the rover’s chassis. In June, the area company formally accredited VIPER’s staff to maneuver into full-scale meeting and testing forward of the rover’s scheduled launch in November 2024.

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