An important decision for NASA’s Artemis program was made today (21st): NASA has chosen a landing site for the Earth exploration vehicle (tramp), dubbed “VIPER” (an acronym for “Polar Exploration Survey Rover”), is expected to land at the lunar south pole with a planned launch in 2023.
The decision represents a huge opportunity for NASA: The lunar south pole has never been physically explored before, and all observations of the region are made using remote instruments. It is one of the coldest regions of our natural satellite.
The Artemis program may be NASA’s most ambitious undertaking in a decade: projected to cost $1 billion, it will be carried out in several phases, from delivering equipment on the moon to sending a human crew, marking the return of humanity. man to satellite.
The VIPER rover is an integral part of this: the analysis of the area gathered from previous observations allowed us to determine that the ground in the area is conducive to the circulation of such vehicles, making it the most interesting place to explore remotely.
“Once on the lunar surface, VIPER will make actual measurements of the presence of water and other resources at the lunar south pole, as the area around the so-called Nobile crater has been found to be most prone to this,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Division. The data provided by VIPER will help to better understand the cosmic origin, evolution and history of the Moon, in addition to helping inform future lunar missions. [projeto] Artemis, allowing us to better understand the lunar environment in these hitherto unexplored regions. “
The Nobile crater is an area in the lunar terrain that was formed after an impact with another smaller celestial body. The shock wave hit the moon head-on, creating an almost perfect circular depression that is high enough to protect most of it from the sun. This configuration makes it almost completely shaded, which is good for creating ice and other resources.
“Choosing a landing site for VIPER was an important decision for all of us,” commented Daniel Andrews, rover project manager. “Years of research have been used to assess the polar regions that vehicles will explore. VIPER will enter areas unknown to science, testing hypotheses and revealing important information about the future of human space exploration.