WHY IN NEWS?
- Recently, US space agency NASA has announced to send its first mobile robot to the Moon in 2023. Mobile robot will search ice and other resources on and below the surface of moon. This mission is an example showing “robotic science mission” and “human exploration” go hand in hand.
- VIPER stands for Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover. It is a lunar rover which NASA has developed to explore South Pole of the moon. It will be delivered to surface of Moon in November 2023. The rover will explore the lunar resources in permanently shadowed areas of South Pole region of Moon. It will help in mapping water ice distribution and concentration. This mission is based on previous cancelled NASA rover concept called Resource Prospector. The rover will be carried through Griffin lander of Astrobotic under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative of NASA.
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