Griffin lander deploys NASA VIPER.
Credit: Astrobotics

 

Astrobotic has been selected by NASA to deliver the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, to the south pole of the Moon in 2023.

The private company, will provide an end-to-end delivery for VIPER on board the company’s Griffin lunar lander through a $199.5 million contract awarded under the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, or CLPS.

VIPER on the prowl.
Credit: NASA

 

VIPER is a mobile robot that will go to the south pole of the Moon to get a close-up view of the location and concentration of water ice that could eventually be harvested to sustain human exploration on the Moon, Mars — and beyond.

VIPER hardware being tested.
Credit: NASA/JSC

 

 

 

Resource mapping

VIPER represents the first resource mapping mission on another celestial body. 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Astrobotic will be responsible for end-to-end services for delivery of VIPER, including integration with its lander, launch from Earth, and landing in a polar region on the Moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video at:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/astrobotic-assets/Astrobotic_Griffin_Surface_01.mp4

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