Nasa selects site for moon roving mission
Nasa is sending a robotic rover to look for water-ice near a crater at the Moon’s South Pole.
In 2023, the golf cart-sized vehicle will land near the western edge of Nobile Crater, a 73km-wide depression that is almost permanently in shadow.
The Viper mission will support plans for human exploration of the Moon, because the ice could be mined for use as drinking water and rocket fuel.
Nasa wants to return astronauts to the lunar surface this decade.
The space agency’s Artemis programme will see the first woman and the first person of colour land on the Moon. It could pave the way for a long-term human presence on Earth’s sole natural satellite.
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Daniel Andrews, Viper’s project manager from Nasa’s Ames Research Center in California, said the 2023 rover mission would help scientists understand how easy or difficult it would be for humans to extract the water-ice.