New Delhi: Australia’s space agency is teaming up with NASA to develop a rover that will explore the moon and conduct experiments on its soil. The rover will be part of the Trailblazer program, which aims to prepare for future missions to the Moon and Mars. The rover will use Australia’s expertise in remote operations to collect lunar samples and extract oxygen from them.
The oxygen extraction experiment is crucial for enabling humans to stay on the Moon for longer periods. The rover will also support NASA’s Artemis mission, which will send the first woman and the first person of color to the Moon in 2026. The rover is expected to be a milestone for Australia’s space industry.
The rover, which will be a special kind of robot, has not been named yet and the Australian Space Agency has launched a naming contest for it. All Australians can participate in the contest and submit their entries by October 20. The winner will be announced in December.
NASA’s Artemis mission is designed to establish a long-term human presence on the Moon. The mission will also pave the way for future missions to Mars and beyond. The first crewed mission of Artemis will orbit the Moon in 2024, followed by a four-person landing at the Moon’s South Pole in 2026. This will be just the beginning of sending humans to the moon.
The rover will study the lunar soil in depth and try to deoxygenate it. The oxygen will be useful for the future moon travelers living there. The rover will also investigate the different types of water on the moon.