Engineering Science & Tech

To the Moon Again… and Stay!

Did you hear that NASA is sending humans to the moon again? This time, they are staying.

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

On July 20th 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface followed by Buzz Aldrin while their fellow crew Michael Collins stayed in orbit around the moon. 21 hours and 36 minutes later, Armstrong and Aldrin lifted off to join Collins at the Columbia Command Module in the lunar orbit.

Fast forward to more than 50 years later, NASA is returning humans to the moon with the Artemis program.

We’re going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers: the Artemis Generation.

With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon with the goal of exploring more of the lunar surface than ever before. Ultimately, learnings from the moon missions will lead to the next giant leap of bringing the first astronauts to Mars.

According to NASA, the Artemis mission will build a community on the Moon, driving a new lunar economy and inspiring a new generation.

Sounds too far into the future? Well — work has already started!

Starting in 2022 and throughout the decade, NASA will send a suite of science instruments and technology demonstrations to the lunar surface. The one that we are the most excited about (so far) has got to be the VIPER.

What is the VIPER?

One of the most critical components of the Artemis program is the discovery of resources on the lunar surface in order to sustain human living on the moon. VIPER does exactly that.

VIPER stands for “Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover”. It’s a robot robot designed to scout for frozen water and other resources on the moon.

VIPER represents the first resource mapping mission on another celestial body.

VIPER is scheduled to land on the south-pole of the Moon in late 2023. At the size of a golf-cart, the rover venture for at least 100 days into the most shadowed regions of the moon to study and map for water ice deposits.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The VIPER is still in development but check out the latest prototype here!

You can now build a space rover with us!

We are hosting the 2022 edition of the Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition right now at Wiz Robotics. This year’s theme will be around the space rover.

Each individual or team registration will come with an at-home robotics kit accompanied by the Wiz online learning platform so you can learn to code and build your rover from scratch.

You can learn more about the 2022 Wiz Prodigy Online STEM Competition directly on the website. Be sure to also check out the amazing Cybertruck creations from the 2021 Wiz Prodigy Competition!

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