NASA delays launch of rover designed to search and drill for water on the Moon

An artistic rendering of NASA’s VIPER lander on the Moon | Image: NASA

NASA is delaying the flight of its VIPER rover — a specialized bot designed to hunt for water on the surface of the Moon. Originally set to embark on its lunar expedition in November of 2023, VIPER is now targeting a launch in November of 2024 in order to allow for testing of the lander that will deliver the vehicle to the Moon’s surface, according to NASA.

Standing for Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, VIPER is a big component of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to send humans back to the Moon. The robotic rover is, in essence, a prospector. Equipped with specialized agile wheels, science instruments, and a drill, VIPER is designed to hunt for water ice that is thought to be located on the Moon’s surface in order to…

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