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NASA Seeks to Find Water on the Moon with ‘Resource Prospector’

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A team of NASA researchers has been working on a project to send an unmanned rover to the moon. Local news reports have identified that the project began three years ago, when several NASA centers, Johnson Space Center in Texas among them, set out to learn more on the availability of water that existed there. The basis for their research was to determine whether there was enough which could be readily collected, which could help sustain life.

Subsequently, a six-square-foot rover called the Resource Prospector was developed and outfitted with a mini science lab as well as a drill – both for the purpose of finding and processing water on the moon. “Our mission is about taking the next step toward chasing the water” explained Bill Bluethmann, who is the rover’s element lead in Houston. The anticipated launch of the rover isn’t scheduled yet for another five years, but scientists continue chasing the discovery of water since NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite sent data that indicated the possibility.

“Up until that point, everyone was certain the moon was absolutely dry, and this flipped that on its head,” explained Dan Andrews, project manager for the rover based in California at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Their existing budget is $250 million, and the rover is still in the technology development phase. But researchers have determined that mapping technology will assist the rover in determining areas that are most saturated with hydrogen on the moon. Once it does, those areas will be drilled for water in 4-inch chunks to a depth of a meter. The full process for discovery and testing is outlined on the link provided here, and if there’s enough water found, these findings could enable so many other great space explorations and destinations.