(HorizonPost.com) – On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on the nearest celestial object to the earth: the moon. The now-defunct Soviet Union, Japan, China, the European Space Agency (ESA), and India are the only other countries on earth to have sent objects to the moon, but the United States is the only one to have put (space) boots on the ground.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced the Artemis program with the goal of putting one male and one female astronaut back on the lunar surface in 2024. In preparation for that event, they plan to land the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) on the dark side of the moon, at its South Pole, for a 100-day mission in 2023.
We're sending a robotic scout to the Moon's South Pole to hunt for vital resources, like ice! Part of our @NASAArtemis program, our Moon rover, VIPER, will pave the way for sustainable human exploration. https://t.co/5xNksd6XYT
— NASA Moon (@NASAMoon) May 20, 2021
VIPER’s job is to seek out potential subsurface water in the form of ice, which could eventually sustain a permanent lunar base, and to scout out a site for the Artemis Lander. Between this new project and both China and the United States landing rovers on Mars, it seems we’re in a new Space Race.
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