NASA's VIPER rover to search for water on the moon's surface
NASA is all set to deploy a rover on the moon's South Pole in 2022.
MOON — NASA plans to send a robotic rover to search for water ice at the moon's South Pole in 2022, according to an October 25 news release published on NASA's website.
The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, will be roughly the size of a golf cart.
VIPER will collect data for roughly 100 days as it uses the Neutron Spectrometer System to detect wet sections underneath the moon's surface.
Once such an area is detected, VIPER will deploy a one-meter long drill to dig for soil cuttings that are up to a meter underneath its surface.
These drill samples will then be analyzed by two other instruments carried by the rover: the Mass Spectrometer Observing Lunar Operations, or MSolo, and the Near InfraRed Volatiles Spectrometer System, or NIRVSS.
VIPER will also gather data on how different kinds of soil environments on the moon's South Pole are affected by sunlight and different temperatures.
The data will allow the space agency to map out places where water could potentially lie on the moon.
NASA says that water extracted from the moon could be used for fuel in rockets or be turned into oxygen for astronauts.
VIPER is part of NASA's Lunar Discovery and Exploration Program.
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