The VIPER rover will explore the surface and interior of the Moon’s South Pole in 2023.
The Volatiles Investigation Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) will search for water on the Earth satellite: it will be delivered to the moon in 2023 using a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.
The device will map, and also explore the surface and subsoil for the presence of ice and other resources near the Nobile crater at the South Pole.
We considered four different landing points for the rover in the vicinity of the moon’s south pole. The most interesting of them turned out to be the western part of the Nobile crater. This region is one of the coldest regions in the solar system. The rover will help us understand if water is present in the permanently shaded craters on the moon’s surface.
Laurie Glaze, head of the planetary division of the department
According to Glaze, this area is not only the most interesting, but also convenient to keep in touch with the Earth, and it is also well lit, so you can conveniently recharge the batteries.
VIPER will explore at least six different regions of Nobile Crater, where it will conduct spectrometric studies and take samples of rocks and ice from great depths.
The rover’s work will form the basis for future astronaut landings, as well as assist in the construction of a lunar base.