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NASA’s VIPER Mission

NASA’s VIPER Mission:

NASA has chosen a landing site for the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER).

  • The site is on the western edge of Nobile crater, near the lunar south pole. The crater was named after Italian polar explorer Umberto Nobile.
  • NASA, in July 2021, announced that it will launch its Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, in 2023.
  • NASA is undertaking the mission to understand if it is possible for human life to sustain there, by using locally available resources.

About the mission:

  • VIPER is a mobile robot.
  • It is the first resource mapping mission on any other celestial body.
  • NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) will be providing the launch vehicle and lander for what’s going to be a 100-day mission.

Objectives of the mission:

  • To explore the Moon’s South Pole region.
  • Help create lunar resource maps.
  • Evaluate the concentration of water as well as other potential resources on its surface.

Significance of the mission:

  • VIPER’s findings will inform “future landing sites under the Artemis program by helping to determine locations where water and other resources can be harvested” to sustain humans over extended stays.

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