NASA has said the launch of its lunar rover, the Volatile Survey Polar Exploration Vehicle (VIPER), will be delayed from 2022 to 2023, NASA reported. At that time, the VIPER lunar rover will travel to the moon’s south pole to find out the distribution and content of local water ice, the data will be used to map the first lunar water resources.
In October 2019, NASA announced a new VIPER mission as part of the Artemis program, which aims to send two U.S. astronauts to the moon by 2024.
According to NASA at the time, the VIPER lunar rover and golf cart the size of the car, will move several kilometers on the moon table to collect 100 days of data, this data will be used to map the first lunar water resources. VIPER is scheduled to launch in December 2022, but the mission has now been postponed until 2023.
Daniel Andrews, director of engineering at NASA’s Ames Research Center and project manager for the VIPER mission, said at the time that since the moon was confirmed 10 years ago, it has been unknown whether its content will support human survival there, and the VIPER mission will answer questions about “where the water is” and “how much is available.” We want to turn water from the moon into drinking water and rocket fuel.
“Extending the delivery time of VIPER until 2023 so that we can upgrade it so that the lunar rover can explore the moon for longer and get more exciting observations!” said Thomas Zubchen, head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, on Twitter On Friday. “
Although VIPER is a new mission, it largely continues NASA’s previous design of the unmanned vehicle “Resource Explorer.” In 2018, NASA canceled the mission, and two of the instruments were used on VIPER.