NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) will land on moon in 2023. The mission will send the first woman and the first person of colour to walk on Moon. The VIPER will land near the western edge of the Nobile Crater at the Moon’s South Pole to search for water and other resources on the surface and sub-surface of the region.
The VIPER mission is a part of the Artemis program of the space agency. The golf cart-sized rover will be launched on SpaceX Falcon-Heavy rocket and will land on the 73km-wide depression of the Moon, that is in shadow. The Moon’s south pole is one of the coldest areas in the solar system. This region has never been explored by any previous missions to the moon other than the studies using remote sensing instruments by the scientists.
The studies done on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite conclude that ice and other potential resources exist in these permanently shadowed areas of the Moon. The data collected by VIPER will enable the lunar scientists around the world to study the cosmic origin, evolution and history of our Moon, Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters says.