VIPER project manager Daniel Andrews said:
“The key to life on the moon is water – just like here on Earth, since the confirmation of the lunar water ice ten years ago, the question is whether the moon can really contain the amount of resources we have to live -world. This rover will help us to answer the many questions we have, where the water is and how much there is for us. ”
NASA launched a rocket in 2009 against the south pole of the moon and was able to detect the presence of water ice. VIPER is committed to identifying the location of the water and understanding its nature, so we can plan how we can access and use it in the future.
The rover roams several miles to find wet sub-surface areas with an instrument called the Neutron Spectrometer System. Whenever it finds one, it will use the drill “The Regolith and Ice Drill” to explore new terrain or “TRIDENT” to dig for samples. The other two instruments – the Lunar Observation Mass Spectrometer or MSolo and the Near Infrared Vapor Spectrometer System – then analyze the samples to determine their composition and concentration of water ice or other resources that we may be able to use.
Although there is no exact start date yet, NASA plans to deliver the rover to the lunar surface in December 2022.