#15. VIPER

Last edited on 2023-05-26 Tagged under  #space 

Here are this week's 3 links worth exploring:

  1. NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) is a Moon rover bound for the lunar south pole in late 2024. Its mission is to prospect for resources in the permanently shadowed areas of the region, where it is believed large concentrations of water ice may exist. Open source software is set to play a large role in the mission: https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/04/12/1022420/nasa-lunar-rover-viper-open-source-software/

  2. Robot Operating System (ROS) is an open source set of software frameworks for robot development. As NASA's VIPER rolls about the Moon, it will be driven by "ground flight controllers" on Earth. ROS 2 will be in the control loop for the rover, taking the data collected to render the lunar landscape and build real-time maps for navigation. Space ROS is a variant of ROS 2 being developed by Open Robotics in partnership with Blue Origin and NASA to meet the strict requirements and certifications of mission-critical, beyond-Earth applications: https://space-ros.github.io/docs/rolling/

  3. VIPER will use an onboard program called core Flight System (cFS) - developed by NASA and available on GitHub - to control basic functions on the rover like telemetry and memory management. Its primary goal is to enable portability across embedded computing platforms and be suitable for reuse in a wide range of space missions: https://cfs.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Quote of the Week: "If the Earth is a natural spaceship, then everyone on it is either a passenger or a crew member. (Former astronaut Ron Garan insists that there are no passengers, only crew members.) ... The role you play is not as important as the awareness that you are "aboard ship" and can spend the entire journey asleep in a lounge chair or wake up and participate in a voyage." — Frank White, The Overview Effect


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