NASA’s first-ever lunar ice-drilling experiment now has a landing site on the Moon for its late-2022 mission.
(Photo : by STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
The NASA logo on a protective box for a camera near the space shuttle Endeavour April 28, 2011 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida as preparations are under way for an April 29 launch of Endeavour, which will be its last flight. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read)
It is worth noting that Moon ice is one of the resources that the United States space agency is looking to use as astronauts are set to return to the moon in 2024 under the Artemis program, as per the report by Space.com.
NASA’s First Lunar Ice-Drilling Experiment
As such, NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration partnered with Houston-based space firm, Intuitive Machines to launch the ice-mining drill on the Moon last Oct. 23, 2020.
The US space agency paid Intuitive Machine a whopping $47 million to launch the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment or PRIME-1 of NASA to the south pole of the Moon.
On top of that, the PRIME-1 will be paired with a mass spectrometer, which is a 4G network that was produced by Nokia of America, along with Micro-Nova, according to NASA.
(Photo : from NASA website )
NASA’s first lunar ice-drilling experiment now has a landing site on the Moon.
It is to note that the PRIME-1 mission seeks to harvest water ice from the lunar surface for the first time.
The associate administrator for science missions of NASA, Thomas Zurbuchen, said in a statement last Oct. 16, 2020, that “the information we’ll gain from PRIME-1 and other science instruments and technology demonstrations we’re sending to the lunar surface will inform our Artemis mission with astronauts.
What’s more, Zurbuchen also noted that the PRIME-1 mission could also help the space agency further understand how to “build a sustainable lunar presence.”
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NASA’s First Lunar Ice-Drilling Experiment Landing Site
Meanwhile, Intuitive Machines will be flying the PRIME-1 in December, and now NASA has found a landing site for it.
As per the story of Republic World, NASA was able to determine the landing site of the first lunar drilling mission in agreement with its partner in the mission, Intuitive Machines.
The project manager of PRIME-1 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida of NASA, Dr. Jackie Quinn, said that looking for the landing location for the mission was a difficult task as the PRIME-1 is permanently attached to the Nova-C lander of Intuitive Machines.
That said, Dr. Quinn explained that the landing site of the PRIME-1 has to be a location from the Moon that “gets just enough sunlight to meet mission requirements.” However, they also have to consider a place wherein communication to the Earth is not an issue.
Thus, to determine the landing location for the mission, NASA worked with Nokia, Intuitive Machines, Arizona State University, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to develop “ice-mining” maps.
With the help of the lunar map, NASA was able to choose a ridge from the lunar South Pole, which is not much distance away from the Shackleton crater on the Moon.
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Written by Teejay Boris
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