VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover)
Company Name: NASA, USA
Potentially available for future missions
Planned Mission(s): Griffin Mission One (GM1)
First Mission Launch: November 2024
Payload Delivery Locations: First mission planned to land at Nobile Region - Lunar South Pole, 89.5°S and 1°E
First Mission Lander: Griffin Lander
Rover Mass: 450 kg
Rover Dimensions: 2.45 m (8 ft) height x 1.53 m (5 ft) in length and width
Rover Mobility: Drive at about 0.45 mph (0.72 kph) over the lunar surface, slowing to 0.25 mph (0.4 kph) when prospecting for water and other potential resources. Rove for 20 km.
The rover can drive sideways or diagonally, spin in a circle and move in any direction without changing the way it's facing. If it encounters soft soil, it will even be able to walk its wheels by moving each wheel independently to free itself.
Payload Bay - Available Mass: No external payload
Payload Bay - Size: No external payload
Power Source Type: Solar-powered & Solar-charged rechargeable batteries
Power Generation and Usage: Peak power - 450 W.
Once it enters a permanently shadowed location, it will operate on battery power alone and will not be able to recharge them until it drives to a sunlit area.
Communications Available: X-band direct-to-Earth (no relay) over the Deep Space Network
Expected Working Duration: Up to 100 Earth days
First Mission Rover Manifest:
1) Neutron Spectrometer System (NSS)
2) Near InfraRed Volatiles Spectrometer System (NIRVSS)
3) The Regolith and Ice Drill for Exploring New Terrain (TRIDENT)
4) Mass Spectrometer Observing Lunar Operations (MSolo)
5) The VIPER rover is planned to traverse several kilometres, collecting data on different kinds of soil environments affected by light and temperature — those in complete darkness, occasional light and in constant sunlight.