VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover)
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.
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 soils, it will even be able to walk its wheels by moving each wheel independently to free itself.
X-band direct-to-Earth (no relay) over the Deep Space Network
Astrobotic Technology, USA
2.45 m (8 ft) height x
1.53 m (5 ft) in length and width
No external payload
No external payload
Solar powered & Solar-charged rechargeable batteries
Falcon Heavy, SpaceX
PAYLOAD BAY (AVAILABLE MASS)
PAYLOAD BAY SIZE
POWER GENERATION & USAGE
POWER DISTRIBUTION (FOR PAYLOAD)
INTERFACES AVAILABLE (FOR PAYLOAD)
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)
NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, is a mobile robot that will go to the South Pole of the Moon to get a close-up view of the location and concentration of water ice that could eventually be harvested to sustain human exploration on the Moon, Mars — and beyond. VIPER represents the first resource mapping mission on another celestial body. The VIPER rover will operate on the western edge of Nobile crater on the moon's south pole. It is planned to traverse several kilometers, collecting data on different kinds of soil environments affected by light and temperature — those in complete darkness, occasional light and in constant sunlight.