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Send your name to the moon thanks to NASA's VIPER rover: scheduled for launch in late 2024

Send your name to the moon thanks to NASA's VIPER rover: scheduled for launch in late 2024

In the past, the US Space Agency allowed everyone in the world to send their names (in the form of small inscriptions on chips) on various missions. For example, there are the names of thousands of humans on the Perseverance rover currently active on Mars (but also on NASA InSight) or, more recently, it was possible to enter your name on the orbiter for the Europe Clipper mission. A new possibility has also been provided for all enthusiasts NASA Viper rover (Volatiles investigated in polar exploration exploration).

This robotic mission (as part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services) is headed towards… Luna And it will be part of Artemis program To explore our natural satellite. The launch is scheduled for late 2024 on board the A-plane SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket Together with the Astrobotic Griffin lander that will provide support for the landing in the Antarctic region, which is one of the most interesting regions from an exploration point of view. Future human missions will also be directed here. Also scheduled for 2024 is an Artemis II preparatory mission that will bring four astronauts close to the lunar surface (but without landing) thanks to the Orion capsule.

NASA name Viper

NASA name Viper

As always, the name entry method will be sent to the moon with NASA Viper rover It's very simple (and free). Adequate Enter your name and surname on the appropriate page Enter a four-digit password to retrieve the electronic ticket in the future (to keep or print as a simple souvenir). this rover It will be the first Robotic mission from NASA on a roof Luna Its purpose is to explore permanently shaded areas to understand, in particular, the amount of water (in the form of ice) present and dispersed in the regolith. Since there is no interaction with the Sun, there could be many surprises. The ability to exploit resources “on site” very important. For example, water can be used for the crew, but above all, to make hydrogen and oxygen useful as fuel for space rockets. This would allow the propellant payload to be reduced from the ground and thus provide greater mass for the payload.

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Our snake

A must have for the mission Duration of 100 days It will move to areas (especially Mons Mouton) where there are craters whose edges are always in shade relative to the sun. Here it will be possible to carry out more precise analyzes compared to those that can be done from Earth and thus have a more accurate idea of ​​what astronauts might find when they set foot on the surface of the Moon again. the NASA Viper rover He will be able to use three different tools and a drill that can reach a depth of one meter.

Our snake

Among the tools will be present NSS (Neutron Spectrometer System) to detect neutrons and their interaction with hydrogen atoms present in the water molecule. Therefore, it will be possible to detect its presence even underground without the need to dig. Once the NSS determines the potential presence of water, the tool will be used Trident (Regolith and Ice Drill for Exploring New Terrains), which will allow samples to be collected and analyzed in other devices, in addition to having a temperature sensor to know the difference at different depths.

For example Nervs (Near Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System) which will determine if the identified hydrogen is part of water molecules, hydroxyl groups or hydrogen molecules. The distinction will be made through spectroscopic analysis and it will also be possible to identify carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane. in the end single (Lunar Operations Monitoring Mass Spectrometer) will analyze the gases present at the time of landing to understand whether these gases came from the landing/rover operations or were already present on the Moon.

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