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NASA looks for bids to transport VIPER moon lander

WASHINGTON- NASA is requesting syndicates in its commercial moon landing services mission to bid on transporting a NASA rover whose send-off has to some extent been postponed.

NASA reported on February 25 that it was requesting the 14 firms that are under the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) series to bid on a duty order for conveying the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) of the agency operation to the moon poles.

VIPER officially reported by NASA in the last October would inspect areas at both the north and the South Pole of the lunar surface believed to have water ice deposits. Such deposits, when established, could become severe resources for future human operations.

Following the announcement of VIPER by NASA, the operation was set for a send-off by December 2022. In the report about the CLPS task order, although, NASA stated that the traveler would go to the lunar surface by the year 2023.

Thomas Zurbuchen, who is a NASA connect administrator for science, established the set slip in his official Twitter account on February 25, reporting the assignment order. He wrote on his Twitter account that moving VIPER delivery to 2023 permits for upgrades to allow the rover to conduct lengthy and more thrilling science on the lunar surface. 

Grey Hautaluoma, who is the NASA spokesperson, confirmed to the SpaceNews on February 25 that the replacement comprises lessons learned from surveys of tools and other systems of the rover and also to allow the rover to survive through the moon night for lengthy operation duration for considerably improved operation value.

VIPER, in some compliments a successor to the previous NASA moon rover notion named Resource Prospector, is still in its initial stages of expansion. The operation is set for a beginning plan review in April. This is according to the fiscal year 2021 of NASA financial plan proposal that demanded $67.5 million for VIPER. The total cost of the mission is projected to be approximately $250 million.

The agency has been getting ready to offer an assignment order late in the last year for VIPER, however, delayed it. The agency stated in the early days of January that it resolute to postpone the assignment order based on workshop discussion feedback the agency had with the providers of CLPS, quoting “the VIPER delivery complexity.” The big VIPER size, portrayed by NASA as the same to a golf cart, shows that only a little fraction of the CLPS firms would have landers big enough to contain it.

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