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NASA Delays VIPER Moon Rover Launch To 2024 To Permit Lander Improvement

American house company NASA on Tuesday introduced that it’s going to delay the launch of its water-hunting VIPER Moon rover by a yr in a bid to permit extra time to develop a touchdown car for the mission. 

Based on a assertion by the Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Administration (NASA), the VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) was set to launch in November 2023, nonetheless, now that launch date has been slipped to November 2024 in an effort to enable extra time for floor testing the Griffin lander that can ship VIPER to the lunar South pole. 

NASA chosen Astrobotic, a Pittsburg firm, because the business accomplice to develop VIPER and the Griffin lander for this mission in 2020, via the company’s Business Lunar Payload Service (CLPS) initiative. VIPER is tasked with observing and quantifying the presence of ice within the moon’s South Pole, and water beneath the floor. 

“The extra exams purpose to scale back the general danger to VIPER’s supply to the Moon,” the house company defined in a press word. 

Additionally Learn | NASA’s Perseverance Rover Spots Hair Ball-Like Object On Mars

That is the second time the mission has been delayed. Again in 2020, NASA introduced that further time could be used for “upgrades” to the water-hunting rover. 

VIPER rover is in regards to the measurement of a golf cart and weighs simply lower than 1,000 kilos. As per Unbiased, the rover will use its 3.28-foot-long drill to pattern lunar regolith and seek for water throughout numerous sorts of the lunar terrain, together with craters the place deep shadows may have preserved water ice for billions of years. 

Notably, the mission is a key a part of NASA’s Artemis program, which is scheduled to launch in 2025 and goals to return people to the moon. The presence of water may very well be key in establishing the long-term presence of people on the lunar floor, and it may additionally play a task in human house exploration into deeper reaches of the photo voltaic system. 

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