Bridenstine expects the Starship to be a candidate to land equipment, supplies or fuel ahead of the astronauts. NASA is building a rocket of its own to carry the first astronauts; workers have just begun mounting that rocket’s engines to its first stage.
NASA sending rover to search for water at the moon’s south poleOctober 25, 2019
NASA announced a new mission Friday that will guide a way for astronauts to return to the moon.
A rover, dubbed Viper, is being designed at Kennedy Space Center. It will launch from the Space Coast and crisscross the moon looking for water.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the mission. “Viper is gonna rove on the south pole of the moon, and Viper is going to assess where the water ice is,” he said.
A key instrument on the new lander is under development now at the Kennedy Space Center, an instrument that’ll tell us how much water is frozen just under the moon’s surface.
The rover could launch in December 2022, about two years before NASA hopes to launch people to the moon.
Bridenstine also told that part of the five-year moon-landing effort could involve the SpaceX Starship. The 100-passenger spaceship is under development in a Cocoa industrial area, as well as at another outdoor site in Texas. Starships, if they get off the ground, could carry cargo as well as people.
“We want to go to the moon with commercial landers and Starship is a commercial lander that we hope will be competing in this program,” Bridenstine said.