NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) will land at the western end of the ‘Noble crater’ at the Moon’s South Pole by the end of 2023.
The availability of ground water will be confirmed. The Viper will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon-heavy rocket.
The Moon’s South Pole is one of the coldest regions in our Solar System. No previous lunar mission has explored these areas.
An area of 10 to 15 miles in the Noble crater region has been selected for viper exploration. Weaver will use solar panels to store energy for his 100-day lunar mission.
NASA is equipped with three spectrometers on the wiper. It can identify elements based on how the structure of an object emits light.
Once the VIPER detects the presence of water in an area, it will dig the soil up to one meter from the surface with its drill and take the sample. The infrared spectrometer analyzes the soil and determines whether the hydrogen found in the soil is part of the water or in the mineral-associated hydroxyl (OH).
VIPER will repeat these experiments at different locations on the moon.