MoonRanger will search for water at moon’s south pole

CMU's MoonRanger will search for water at moon's south pole
MoonRanger, a suitcase-size lunar rover being developed by Carnegie Mellon University and Astrobotic, will search for signs of water during a NASA mission to the moon in 2022. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University

MoonRanger, a small robotic rover being developed by Carnegie Mellon University and its spinoff Astrobotic, has completed its preliminary design review in preparation for a 2022 mission to search for signs of water at the moon’s south pole.


Whether buried ice exists in useful amounts is one of the most pressing questions in lunar exploration, and MoonRanger will be the first to seek evidence of it on the ground. If found in sufficient concentration at accessible locations, ice might be the most valuable resource in the solar system, said William “Red” Whittaker, University Founders Research Professor in the Robotics Institute.

“Water is key to human presence on and use of the moon,” explained Whittaker, who is leading development

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