NASA Requests Names for the Artemis Robotic Moon Rover from the Public

NASA Requests Names for the Artemis Robotic Moon Rover from the Public

Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER for short, is NASA’s first robotic lunar rover, and it is inviting people to transmit their names to the moon surface. In order to better comprehend the area where NASA intends to place the first woman and person of color under the Artemis program, the rover will set off on a trip to the lunar South Pole in order to solve the mysteries surrounding the Moon’s water.

NASA is accepting names for the “Send Your Name with VIPER” campaign until March 15 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The names will be gathered by the agency and then attached to the rover.
To remember the event, users can also design and download a virtual memento that features their name, such as a boarding permit for the VIPER mission, from the website. With the hashtag #SendYourName, participants are urged to post their requests on social media.

“With VIPER, we are going to study and explore parts of the Moon’s surface no one has ever been to before – and with this campaign, we are inviting the world to be part of that risky yet rewarding journey,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Just think: Our names will ride along as VIPER navigates across the rugged terrain of the lunar South Pole and gathers valuable data that will help us better understand the history of the Moon and the environment where we plan to send Artemis astronauts.”

Similar to past NASA initiatives that have allowed tens of millions of individuals to submit their names to travel with Artemis I, a number of Mars spacecraft, and the agency’s planned Europa Clipper mission, this campaign follows suit. It is based on the agency’s lengthy history of delivering uplifting messages on board spacecraft that have traveled throughout our solar system and beyond.

“Our VIPER is a game-changer,” said Daniel Andrews, VIPER’s project manager at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “It’s the first mission of its kind, expanding our understanding of where lunar resources could be harvested to support a long-term human presence on the Moon.”

Griffin Mission One of Astrobotic Technologies is slated to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in late 2024, carrying VIPER to the lunar surface. Once there, VIPER’s solar panels and batteries will be its only means of survival for the roughly 100 days it will need to endure harsh temperatures and low lighting. These solar panels and batteries will also power a variety of scientific instruments that are intended to collect information about the properties and concentrations of lunar ice and other potential resources.

As a component of the Artemis mission, NASA’s CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) project includes the VIPER delivery. NASA will set up a long-term schedule of Moon missions with CLPS and human exploration close to the lunar South Pole in order to get ready to send the first humans to Mars.

The rover is a component of the Lunar Discovery and Exploration Program (LDEP), which is run by the Exploration Science Strategy and Integration Office under the direction of the Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters. NASA Ames oversees the mission’s science, systems engineering, flight software, and real-time rover surface operations in addition to managing it. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA Ames, and commercial partner Honeybee Robotics in Altadena, California, contribute the instruments, while NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston designs and builds the rover hardware.

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