VIPER Mission Overview
NASA’s lunar rover, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, will explore the relatively nearby but extreme environment of the Moon in search of water ice and other potential resources. This mobile robot will land at the South Pole of the Moon in late 2023 on an approximately 100-day mission. The critical information it provides will teach us about the origin and distribution of water on the Moon and help determine how we can harvest the Moon’s resources for future human space exploration.
The system from MCSE will provide the “eyes” for the rover to navigate the difficult terrain of the Moon’s south-pole helping to find the safest route while avoiding obstacles.
MCSE’s decades long experience from deep space and planetary missions have made us uniquely prepared to design and deliver a system meeting NASA’s stringent mission requirement. The camera suite is a complete system including sensors, optics and a video processing module and is designed to provide high performance while minimizing power consumption and system mass.
Similar to the Mars rovers, VIPER will be equipped with six Hazcams to monitor the perimeter around the rover and two mast mounted Navcams to provide navigation. VIPER will be the first rover with headlights so special attention has been paid to optimize the cameras for this purpose.