NASA draws a program that aims to land a robot on the moon.
The cancellation notice comes during a change of leadership at NASA. The program concerned was canceled by the agency's managing director, Robert Lightfoot. The announcement came on the same day that the incoming NASA administrator and Trump representative Jim Briddenstine was sworn in.
The program called Resource Prospector would use a robot that can degrade materials such as oxygen and water from the lunar surface. I know a lot about the composition of the Moon and have confirmed the presence of ice crystals, most of these data were observed by observations of a circling Orbiter collected and questions remain open.
It isn It is clear how easy it is to access the ice, for example, at the poles of the moon. Resource Prospector would allow scientists to explore the composition of ice crystals up close and examine what may reveal information that may be helpful in future lunar missions.
It has long been theorized that ice could be used to make potable water.
After the surprising cancellation of the program, there was an outcry in NASA. The Verge reports that the program's fate may be related to its recent move to another NASA directorate. Previously, the program was funded by funds made available for human research.
In a tweet Bridenstine said that sensors developed as part of the Resource Prospector mission, in partnership with commercial organizations, are part of NASA's strategy to contract commercial moonlanders for future missions
Robots have long played a key role in space exploration. NASA has been researching the surface of Mars with robotic rovers since 1997. The space agency currently has several robots under development, including a self-extracting, origami-inspired two-wheeled rover called Buffer and a cave robot called BRUIE, which captures the underside of the planet's ice sheets, like those that cover the subterranean oceans of Europe, one of Jupiter's satellites , cover.
Probably NASA's most famous robot is R5 (AKA "Valkyrie"), a humanoid that works in human-built environments such as shuttles and space stations
Much of the confusion over the cancellation of Resource Prospector comes from the fact that it agrees so well with President Trump's ambitions to bring people back to the moon.
The last humans landed in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission. Late last year, the president instructed the agency to make another manned lunar mission a priority.
The results of Resource Prospector may have supported this effort.