NASA thinks to issue a call for concepts for a lunar rover that could be applied by the future crewed missions to the moon and, like many other elements of the Artemis program, that will be improved in a partnership with the industry. On 20th November, Tom Cremins, who is the associate administrator for strategy and plans have stated that the authority will release a request soon for information about an unpressurized lunar rover for the usage by astronauts on Artemis lunar landing missions. Tom also said that they want the rover when the first crews appear and then be there subsequently to be able to be used possibly autonomously from the Gateway, to lead operations and to add science obj3ectives.
The RFI that Tom said would be released in the coming weeks would move to develop the rover eventually through a public-private partnership, and the Johnson Space Center will guide the work. Mobility has long been considered as the key for any research of the lunar surface, either human or robotic. NASA ascertained plans in October to improve a separate robotic rover, which was known as Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover or VIPER. VIPER would launch to the moon on a mercantile lander in 2022 to inquire into Potential water ice deposits in craters at the south pole of the moon.
Ben Bussey, who is the senior exploration scientist for the Lunar Discovery and Exploration Program by NASA, stated that in another panel at the conference that the agency will pursue VIPER with other robotic rovers. Manifesting the rover as a partnership with the industry would ensue the model of many other elements of NASA’s overall Artemis program, along with the landers that will carry astronauts to the surface of the moon. The authority is valuing proposals currently that were submitted at the beginning of this month for its Human Landing Systems Program that would apply a more mercantile approach to the improvement of landers and eventual attainment of landing services.