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We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

After an extensive selection process, we chose the mountainous area west of Nobile Crater at the Moon’s South Pole as the landing site for our first-ever robotic Moon rover. The Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, will explore the Moon’s surface and subsurface in search of water and other resources beginning in late 2023. Thanks to past missions, such as satellites orbiting the Moon or impacting its surface, we know there is ice at the Moon’s poles. But how much? And where did it come from? VIPER aims to answer these questions and more by venturing into shadowed craters and visiting other areas of scientific interest over its 100-day mission. The findings will inform future landing sites under the Artemis program and help pave the way toward establishing a long-term human presence on the Moon. Here are five things to know:

The landing site is located just outside the western rim of Nobile Crater at the Moon’s South Pole.

We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

The region has suitable lighting and terrain for our solar-powered rover to navigate.

We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

VIPER will travel up to 15 miles in search of water and other resources.

We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

Its traverse will change depending on what it finds, but it could look like this.

We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

Drivers on Earth will tell the rover where to explore during its 100-day mission.

We Found the Perfect Spot to Land our Moon Rover

The VIPER mission is managed by our Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. The approximately 1,000-pound rover will be delivered to the Moon by a commercial vendor as part of our Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, delivering science and technology payloads to and near the Moon.

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