العربة الجوالة فايبر للبحث عن الماء المثلج على سطح القمر infographic
Graphic shows the VIPER lunar rover project.
GN41805AR

فضاء

العربة الجوالة فايبر للبحث عن الماء المثلج على سطح القمر

By Ninian Carter

September 22, 2021 - من المقرر أن تقوم العربة الجوالة الروفر “ فايبر” التابعة لوكالة ناسا بالبحث عن الجليد في فوهة قمرية - يمكن أن توفر مياه الشرب والهواء ووقود الصواريخ اللازمة للمهام المأهولة إلى القمر في المستقبل.

In 2023, NASA will send a robotic rover to look for water-ice near a crater at the Moon’s south pole.

The golf buggy-sized lander (around 1.4m × 1.4m × 2m) will touchdown next to Nobile Crater, a 73km-wide indentation lying almost permanently in shadow, where temperatures can fall as low as -223°C.

The $660 million VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) mission is intended to support plans for human exploration of the Moon, with any ice discovered to be mapped for later mining – a potential source of drinking water, air to breathe or even rocket fuel.

The lunar vehicle will navigate areas of interest around Nobile Crater, drilling for subsurface samples using a 1m-long boring tool store in its belly.

NASA’s Artemis programme will see the first woman and the first person of colour land on the Moon, with the ultimate goal of building a long-term human base there in coming years.

Humankind’s mission to return to the Moon will begin in 2022, with an unmanned test flight of the Orion space capsule. A human landing is expected to occur by the third mission in 2024, the first such mission since 1972 (a gap of 52 years).

VIPER will hitch a ride on a static lander bound for the Moon in November 2023.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 22/09/2021; STORY: Graphic News
Advertisement