Stunning Scientists, NASA's Only Moon Rover Just Got Canceled

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30 April, 2018

Rover had to find the exact field of water and other necessary materials inside lunar soil.

According a report in The Verge on Friday, NASA pulled the plug on Resource Prospector that aimed to be the first mining expedition on another world.

In a statement, a NASA spokeswoman said plans are under way for "a series of progressive robotic missions to the lunar surface", envisioning increasingly larger spacecraft "leading to an eventual human lander capability".

However, nothing in the update states explicitly that the decision to cancel the Lunar Resource Prospector has been reversed and that the mission will fly in 2022 as planned.

According to an earlier NASA statement, the agency planed to launch Resource Prospector in the 2020s.

It's incredibly expensive to launch resources from Earth into space, so if we do set up a moon base, it's important that we use whatever resources are available on the lunar surface to the best of our ability.

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The rover, called the Resource Prospector, was created to pull valuable compounds like water and oxygen from within the Moon's rock. This Rover is still under development for four years.

"We're committed to lunar exploration".

But lunar scientists said they learned April 23 that the agency is abandoning plans for its Resource Prospector rover at the end of May. "More landers. More science". An interdisciplinary group that includes lunar scientists, called the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, wrote new NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine to get the project back on track, as part of the human exploration program.

The agency sparked strong criticism from planetary scientists in recent days for canceling the most advanced publicly-financed plan for a robotic lander, dubbed Resource Prospector, meant to search for water and ice on the lunar surface.

"The technologies and operational capabilities that Resource Prospector validates also will have direct extensibility toward how we may someday harvest resources on Mars, an asteroid, or other planetary bodies", the U.S. space agency added. "This exploration campaign reinforces Space Policy Directive 1, which calls for an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and worldwide partners to enable human expansion across the solar system, including returning humans to the Moon for long-term exploration". "The political environment, I'll just say, was not as conducive as it is now to going to the moon", said Anthony Colaprete, Resource Prospector project scientist, in a presentation at the LEAG annual meeting last October.


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