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November 19, 2019
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Over the moon: NASA to send a mobile robot to hunt water

WASHINGTON D.C., USA: The US space agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), has planned to send a mobile robot to the South Pole of the Moon to hunt for water.

Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), the mobile robot, is the size of a golf cart.

The robot will sample the Moon’s soil environments to search for evidence of water and ice and collect data for about 100 days to create the first global water resource maps of the Moon, the agency said on Friday.

Scientists consider the lunar poles as promising places to search for water ice, which could be used to provide oxygen for humans to breathe and hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel.

NASA had detected the presence of water ice in 2009 when it crashed a rocket into a large crater near the lunar south pole.

The agency believes that the Moon has millions of tons of water ice reservoirs.

Scientists hope that VIPER will help understand the location of the water and other resources on the lunar surface and aid in plans to extract it.