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Intelligent Systems Division Supports Successful VIPER Rover Criticial Design Review
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Intelligent Systems Division Supports Successful VIPER Rover Criticial Design Review

NASA’s first lunar mobile robot, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), has passed its Critical Design Review (CDR), a critical milestone indicating that the rover's design is now complete. The VIPER project will now begin construction of the rover itself, which will be launched to the Moon in late 2023 as a payload on a Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) flight provided by Astrobotic's Griffin lander. The CDR was held at NASA Johnson Space Center on October 19-20, 2021.

The Ground & Flight Data Systems group, the Intelligent Robotics group, and the Discovery and Systems Health technical area worked during the past four months to prepare and conduct a series of Critical Design Assessments (CDAs), where independent reviewers evaluated VIPER’s subsystems individually. The CDAs provided the basis for the CDR, which ensured these subsystems are all capable of working together in a fully functional robotic system ready to explore the lunar surface.

The Ground & Flight Data Systems group led the CDA for Mission Systems (ground data system and mission operations team). The Intelligent Robotics group led the Rover Mechatronics (mobility and gimbals), Rover Navigation (hardware and integrated system), and Rover Software (flight software, ground software, and simulation) CDAs. The Discovery and Systems Health technical area led the CDA for VIPER's Fault Management approach.

BACKGROUND: VIPER is a lunar volatiles detection and measurement mission funded by the NASA Science Mission Directorate. After landing near the Nobile Crater on the Moon, the VIPER rover will travel to investigate a range of Ice Stability Regions (ISRs) across scales from hundreds of meters to kilometers and conduct a surface and subsurface assessment of lunar water and other volatiles. VIPER includes a suite of rover-mounted instruments (three spectrometers and a drill), which the VIPER Science Mission team will use to characterize the nature of the volatiles and to create global lunar water resource maps.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the Exploration Science Strategy and Integration Office (ESSIO), and the Planetary Science Division (PSD)

TEAM: Sybil Adams, Oleg Alexandrov, Mark Allan, Chetan Angadi, Anupa Bajwa, Edward Balaban, Ross Beyer, Xavier Bouyssounouse, Kevin Bradner, Iain Brookshaw, Robert Carvalho, Salem Cherenet, Tamar Cohen, Philip Cooksey, Matt Deans, Matt D’Ortenzio, Larry Edwards, Loretta Falcone, Lorenzo Flueckiger, Tom Flynn, Terry Fong, Jason Fugate, Leigh Garbs, Seth Gee, Jeff Graham, Karen Gundy-Burlet, Julius Gyorfi, Charles Hacskaylo, Brian Hamilton, Andrew Henry, Kelsey Herrmann, John Hill, Sarah Hobart, Henry Hsu, Rusty Hunt, Kaden Jeppesen, Michael Jeronimo, Shefali Joshi, Roshan Kalghatgi, Joe Kitchin, David Lees, Lanssie Ma, Matt Machlis, Nikhil Mandlik, Masoud Mansouri-Samani, Ethan Massey, Jack McCaffery, Scott McMichael, Chris Middour, Zara Mirmalek, Victoria Moore, Ted Morse, Jen Murphy, Ussama Naal, Audrow Nash, Molly O’Connor, Joe Pea, Jacob Perron, Steve Peters, Chris Provencher, Mark Rose, Arno Rogg, Greg Schiller, Mark Shirley, Joshua Slack, Keith Swanson, Antoine Tardy, Hao Thai, Hans Thomas, Vinh To, Jay Trimble, Tiffany Truong, David Tsay, Hans Utz, Massimo Vespignani, Jamie Vigliotta, Jason Watkins, Terry Welsh, DW Wheeler, David Williams, Jasper Wolfe, William Woodall, Uland Wong, and Charlie Yan

POINT OF CONTACT: Terry Fong, terry.fong@nasa.gov

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