NASA has chosen Houston-based Intuitive Machines to land a moon-measuring water technology.
The space agency awarded Intuitive Machines an estimated $ 47 million contract to deliver a drill accompanied by a mass spectrometer on the moon over December 2022.
America’s future is big. NASA’s Artemis program aims to bring American astronauts to the moon by 2024 and establish a sustainable human presence on Earth̵7;s natural satellite.
“The delivery of the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment known as PRIME-1 will help NASA find ice at Moon’s South Pole and, for the first time, harvest ice from underground,” NASA explained. , in a statement.
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The moon’s polar ice caps have garnered a lot of attention in developing Artemis’ mission, with NASA looking to use them to support a lasting presence on the moon’s surface.
“The information we get from PRIME-1 and other scientific instruments and technological demonstrations we send to the lunar surface will inform our Artemis missions to astronauts and help us better understand how we can do it. of a sustainable moon presence, “NASA Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement.
Last year, NASA astronaut Drew Feustel told Fox News that frozen moon water could be used for rocket fuel propellant.
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Dealing with Intuitive Machines is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative.
“PRIME-1 will reach the Moon and drill up to 3 feet (approximately 1 meter) below,” NASA said in a statement. “It measures with a mass spectrometer how much ice in the sample is lost in sublimation as the ice turns from a solid to a vapor in the vacuum of the lunar environment.”
Versions of the PRIME-1 drill and the Mass Spectrometer Observation Lunar Operations (MSolo) will also fly on the VIPER mobile robot that will search for ice on the moon of the South Pole in 2023, according to NASA.
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Pasadena, based in Calb. that Honeybee Robotics is developing an ice-mining drill. New York-based Syracuse, INFICON is developing a mass spectrometer with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
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