NASA has chosen intuitive machines based in Houston to land water measurement technology on the moon.
The space agency has contracted Intuitive Machines for about $ 47 million to supply a drill combined with a mass spectrometer to the lunar surface by December 2022.
In the future, America’s big moon is looming. NASA’s Artemis program aims to land American astronauts on the moon by 2024 and establish a stable human presence on Earth̵7;s natural satellite.
“An experiment to extract ice from polar resources, known as PRIME-1, will help NASA search for ice at the Moon’s South Pole and collect ice beneath the surface for the first time,” NASA said.
NASA ANNOUNCES PARTNERS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MOON, MARS, TECHNOLOGIES
The Moon’s polar ice caps have attracted a lot of attention during the Artemis mission, and NASA is looking to use them to maintain a long-term presence on the lunar surface.
“The information we receive through PRIME-1 and other scientific instruments and technology demonstrations that we send to the lunar surface will communicate our Artemis missions with astronauts and help us better understand how we can create a sustainable lunar presence,” he said. NASA Deputy Science Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen, in a statement.
Last year, NASA astronaut Drew Feistel told Fox News that frozen water on the moon could be used to fuel rocket fuel.
NASA’s ASTRONAUT EYES MOON JACKPOT WANTS FROM SPACE TO POLAR ICE
The agreement with the intuitive machines is part of NASA’s “Commercial Payload Services” commercial initiative.
“PRIME-1 will land on the moon and drill up to 3 feet (about 1 meter) below the surface,” NASA said in a statement. “It will measure with a mass spectrometer how much ice in the sample is lost during sublimation, when ice is converted from a solid to steam in a vacuum of the lunar environment.”
Versions of the PRIME-1 drill and the lunar spectrometer (MSolo) will also fly on VIPER’s mobile work, which will search for ice at the lunar South Pole in 2023, according to NASA.
Click here to get the FOX NEWS app
Honeybee Robotics, based in Pasadena, California, develops ice for ice production. Syracuse, based in New York, INFICON is developing a mass spectrometer together with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers