In 2023, NASA plans to launch its VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) rover to the coldest part of the Moon to search for water and other resources, NASA's press release says. The rover will land at the South Pole at the Nobile crater in 2023.
The South Pole is considered one of the coldest places in our solar system because this part of the Moon is almost always in the shadow, so scientists conclude that ice can be found there. No missions were previously launched to the South Pole since scientists used remote sensing instruments to investigate this area.
Previous research shows that ice may exist in shaded areas of the Moon near its poles. In addition to Nobile crater, the rover will also explore smaller craters nearby.
Using data from the rover, scientists will map the lunar resources. VIPER will also collect soil samples from at least three locations.