WHY IN NEWS?
NASA has announced the launch of the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover(VIPER) Mission in 2023.
About VIPER Mission:
- VIPER Mission is a mobile robot to be launched by NASA in the year 2023.
- It will be the first resource mapping mission on any other celestial body.
- Celestial Body is any natural body outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Easy examples are the Moon, Sun, and the other planets of our solar system.
Objectives of the Mission:
- To get a closer view of the Moon’s South Pole
- To evaluate the concentration of water as well as other potential resources on its surface
- To understand if it is possible for human life to sustain there, by using locally available resources.
Significance of the Mission:
- VIPER will directly analyze water ice on the surface and subsurface of the Moon at varying depths and temperature conditions within four main soil environments.
- The data VIPER transmits back to Earth will be used to create resource maps helping scientists determine the location and concentration of water ice on the Moon.
- These findings will inform future landing sites under the Artemis Mission by helping to determine locations where water and other resources can be harvested to sustain humans over extended stays