The VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) engineering test team uses lunar soil simulants and hand-picked rocks to carefully shape the terrain to realistically mimic actual features at the surface of the Moon’s South Pole at in the SLOPE Lab – short for Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

Kevin May, rover and mission systems engineering intern at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley led the terrain preparation for the test.

“Using data and imagery from previous lunar missions, we created various randomized scenes to mimic the surface terrain of the Moon, with craters and rocks of different sizes and shapes scattered over the SLOPE tilt bed,” May said. “With help from the VIPER science team, which generated cut-out templates of crater profiles, we were able to form features out of the terrain and shape more accurate craters than ever before. By recreating realistic Moon-like environments, we can get a much better idea of how VIPER will perform on the surface.”

Image credit: NASA/Bridget Caswell




影像来源:NASA/Bridget Caswell