Science 30 Apr 2017 NASA selects instrum ...

NASA selects instrument to mine Moon's surface

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Apr 30, 2017, 10:19 am IST
Updated Apr 30, 2017, 10:20 am IST
NASA reveals ‘ShadowCam’ that could be used to reveal deposits mined from the Moon’s surface.
Representational image
 Representational image

NASA has reportedly selected an instrument that could potentially be used to investigate certain areas on the Moon. Dubbed ‘ShadowCam,’ the researchers hope that it could help them reveal trillions of dollars of deposits that could be mined from the Moon’s surface.

The ‘ShadowCam’ is developed by researchers from Arizona State University and Malin Space Science Systems. The instrument is 800 times more sensitive and uses an optical camera based on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera. According to NASA, the instrument will be used to look for volatiles, such as water and to further understand distribution and abundance of deposit existing on Moon’s surface.

 

NASA released a solicitation back in September, 2016, seeking for possible tools that could be used to investigate the lunar surface for volatiles.

“Permanently shadowed regions have been a mystery because the perpetually dark interiors are difficult to image and existing research offers varying interpretations regarding the distribution of volatiles within these cold regions,” says Jason Crusan, Director of NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC.

“Future missions in deep space will be safer and more affordable if we have the ability to harvest lunar resources, and ShadowCam has the potential to greatly increase our understanding of the quality of abundance of those resources in these regions,” he added.

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