NASA: Astrobotic to Fly Water-Hunting Rover to the Moon

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bystander
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NASA: Astrobotic to Fly Water-Hunting Rover to the Moon

Post by bystander » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:41 pm

Astrobotic to Fly Water-Hunting Rover to the Moon
NASA | 2020 Jun 11
NASA has awarded Astrobotic of Pittsburgh $199.5 million to deliver NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the Moon’s south pole in late 2023.

The water-seeking mobile VIPER robot will help pave the way for astronaut missions to the lunar surface beginning in 2024 and will bring NASA a step closer to developing a sustainable, long-term presence on the Moon as part of the agency’s Artemis program.

“The VIPER rover and the commercial partnership that will deliver it to the Moon are a prime example of how the scientific community and U.S. industry are making NASA’s lunar exploration vision a reality,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Commercial partners are changing the landscape of space exploration, and VIPER is going to be a big boost to our efforts to send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024 through the Artemis program.”

VIPER’s flight to the Moon is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, which leverages the capabilities of industry partners to quickly deliver scientific instruments and technology demonstrations to the Moon. As part of its award, Astrobotic is responsible for end-to-end services for delivery of VIPER, including integration with its Griffin lander, launch from Earth, and landing on the Moon. ...
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Forrest White
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Re: NASA: Astrobotic to Fly Water-Hunting Rover to the Moon

Post by Forrest White » Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:08 pm

But they have already found water on the Moon, well, not actually NASA, but the Sofia infrared telescope. The observatory is aboard a Boeing 747.

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Re: NASA: Astrobotic to Fly Water-Hunting Rover to the Moon

Post by neufer » Thu Nov 12, 2020 4:01 pm

Forrest White wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:08 pm

But they have already found water on the Moon, well, not actually NASA, but the Sofia infrared telescope. The observatory is aboard a Boeing 747.
Well, not actually NASA, but India's Chandrayaan-1 orbiter:
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... 69#p305869

However, the VIPER rover is going to drill into the polar ice in the dark shadows to see if ice skating is going to be safe:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VIPER_(rover) wrote:
<<VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) is a lunar rover developed by NASA, and currently planned to be delivered to the surface of the Moon in November 2023. The rover will be tasked with prospecting for lunar resources in permanently shadowed areas in the lunar south pole region, especially by mapping the distribution and concentration of water ice.

The VIPER rover, currently under development, will have a size similar to a golf cart, and will be tasked with prospecting for lunar resources, especially for water ice, mapping its distribution, and measuring its depth and purity.

The VIPER rover will operate at a south pole region yet to be determined. VIPER is planned to rove several kilometers, collecting data on different kinds of soil environments affected by light and temperature — those in complete darkness, occasional light and in constant sunlight. Once it enters a permanently shadowed location, it will operate on battery power alone and will not be able to recharge them until it drives to a sunlit area. Its total operation time will be 100 Earth days.

Data obtained by the Luna 24, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Chandrayaan-1, and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, revealed that lunar water is distributed widely (if thinly) across the Moon's surface, especially within permanently shadowed craters in the south pole region.

Water may have been delivered to the Moon over geological timescales by the regular bombardment of water-bearing comets, asteroids and meteoroids, or continuously produced in situ by the hydrogen ions (protons) of the solar wind impacting oxygen-bearing minerals. The water ice is unlikely to be present in the form of thick, pure ice deposits, but as thin coating on soil grains.

The VIPER rover will be equipped with a drill and three analyzers. The Neutron Spectrometer System (NSS), will detect sub-surface water from a distance, then, VIPER will stop at that location and deploy a 1 m drill called TRIDENT to obtain samples to be analyzed by its two onboard spectrometers>>
Art Neuendorffer