The year 2022 is when this will take place?
What are your thoughts of them actually making this work?
VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) is a NASA rover delivered to the surface of the Moon in December 2022.* It prospects for resources in permanently shadowed areas in the lunar south pole region, which includes mapping the distribution and concentration of water ice.
The vehicle – about the size of a golf cart – is equipped with a drill and three analysers. The Neutron Spectrometer System (NSS) can detect sub-surface water from a distance. VIPER then stops at that location and deploys a 1 m (3 ft 3 in) drill called TRIDENT to obtain samples, for more detailed analysis by a pair of onboard spectrometers.
The mission takes place over several kilometres, with data collected on different kinds of soil environments affected by light and temperature – those in complete darkness, occasional light, and in constant sunlight. Once it enters a permanently shadowed location, VIPER operates on battery power alone and is unable to recharge until it drives to a sunlit area. Its total operation time is approximately 100 Earth days.