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Raumfahrt - NASAs lunar rover could enable deep-space exploration

18.12.2017

Project that began three years ago may get boost from Trump administration, allow manned mission to Mars

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Bill Bluethmann, a NASA robotics engineer at Johnson Space Center, talks about the Resource Prospector rover, designed to drill into the moon's crust in search of water.

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Even as President Donald Trump signed a directive last Monday to put boots back on the moon, a team of NASA researchers continued work on a quiet project to send an unmanned rover there.

The project started three years ago, when several NASA centers, including Johnson Space Center, embarked on a quest to learn more about availability of water on the moon. If there is enough water that can be collected easily, the elements could be broken down to create rocket fuel, for example, or astronaut life support.

The result of their efforts, thus far, is Resource Prospector: a 6-square-foot rover outfitted with a drill and mini science lab built to find and process water on the moon.

"Our mission is about taking the next step toward chasing the water" on the moon, said Bill Bluethmann, the rover's element lead at Johnson Space Center.

The result of their efforts, thus far, is Resource Prospector: a 6-square-foot rover outfitted with a drill and mini science lab built to find and process water on the moon.

"Our mission is about taking the next step toward chasing the water" on the moon, said Bill Bluethmann, the rover's element lead at Johnson Space Center.

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