NASA’s Next Big Rover to Hunt for Water on the Moon
By Duncan Geere, Wired UK
A joint project between NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and the Canadian Space Agency has yielded a lunar rover called Resolve that will search for water sources on the Moon.
Resolve stands for “Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles Extraction,” and it is designed to prospect for areas that might be suitable for a permanent lunar outpost.
The aim is to create a robot that can be released onto the surface of the Moon and would periodically stop and drill into its upper surface to scan for water, minerals and other resources. Over the course of nine days, the rover would scan a wide area to see if there’s enough accessible water to allow for a prolonged manned mission there.
Resolve has also been designed to be easily hackable. With a few light tweaks, it can be repurposed to pootle around the surface of any astronomical body, be it an asteroid, or a moon or a planet.
The rover is currently being tested in Hawaii, and if those tests prove successful, then it might not be long before it’s dowsing for water on the surface of the Moon.