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The Race to the Moons South Pole Is On, But Who Will Get There First?

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Channel: Seeker
Categories: Astronomy   |   Science  
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Indian Space Agency, Blue Origin, and NASA are just three of the teams preparing for missions to the moon's South Pole. But who will get there first?

Thumbnail Credit: NASA

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Read More:
Moon's South Pole in NASA's Landing Sites
"We know the south pole region contains ice and may be rich in other resources based on our observations from orbit, but, otherwise, its a completely unexplored world, said Steven Clarke, deputy associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The south pole is far from the Apollo landing sites clustered around the equator, so it will offer us a new challenge and a new environment to explore as we build our capabilities to travel farther into space.

India aims for 1st landing near moons south pole
"After landing, the rover is designed to operate for at least 14 days on the surface and drive 1,300 feet (396 meters). That may not sound like a lot compared to NASAs rovers on Mars, which have been able to drive for many years and travel at least several miles (as well as the Apollo rovers on the moon), but it will be a big accomplishment for ISRO if it succeeds, since it will be their first-ever moon rover. "

Why the moon's south pole may be the hottest destination in space
"But not all south polar destinations are created equal, and its possible Shackleton crater isnt even the greatest. Li suggests that Sverdrup, Haworth, Shoemaker, and Faustini craters might have the most abundant ice deposits, a conclusion that is mirrored by work from Arizona State Universitys Mark Robinson, who runs the camera aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter."


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