NASA goes to the south pole of the moon

NASA goes to the south pole of the moon

NASA will return to the Moon in 2023. That was already known. It will be an unmanned mission for the so-called Volatile Polar Expedition Rover (VIPER). The vehicle is transported to its destination by a SpaceX Falcon-Heavy rocket. As the name suggests, this research vehicle will take place in the moon’s polar region. became yesterday a favour Where VIPER will land. At Nobile Crater near the south pole of the moon.

One of the coldest places in our solar system

Finding a good landing spot was by no means an easy task. The Moon’s south pole region is one of the coldest places in our solar system with temperatures dropping below -150. The search on the ground, by unmanned vehicles, has never been conducted before. The region was examined from space using remote sensors. This includes NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Moon Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.

From the data collected during those studies, scientists concluded that the Moon’s south pole will have ice in areas that remain constantly in the shade. Snow billions of years old. With this knowledge and basic research, the mountainous region west of Nobile Crater was chosen as the landing site for VIPER. Partly because the Earth is easily accessible to a drone.

Find ice and other resources

VIPER will eventually survey an area of ​​approximately 36 square miles. For this purpose, the rover has various seismic sensors and a perforator.

“Once on the lunar surface, VIPER will look for evidence of water and other resources at the lunar south pole. The areas around the Nobile Crater are best suited and offer the best chance of finding this evidence.” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA Associate Administrator for Science.

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“The data that VIPER collects and sends back to Earth will provide lunar scientists around the world with insight into the moon’s origin, evolution, and cosmic history. It will also contribute to future Artemis missions to the moon and allow us to better understand the lunar environment.”

The VIPER drone mission continues. This is in contrast to the manned mission, which is planned for 2024 but cannot move forward due to spacesuit issues.

Pictures: NASA

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