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SpaceRadar | Payload Selection Tool

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.

Last Updated on August 2022

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