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New NASA Drill to Look for Water Traces in Moon’s South Pole; Janine Captain Quoted

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NASA is sending a new rotary percussive drill to the Moon as part of the Artemis program to measure amounts of water and other resources on the lunar surface.

The Honeybee Robotics-developed Regolith and Ice Drill for Exploring New Terrain will repeatedly dig about three feet into the soil in the lunar south pole without needing an astronaut operator, NASA said Monday.

Attached to the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment-1 lander, TRIDENT will extract multiple samples for examination by the Mass Spectrometer observing lunar operations for possible traces of water.

"These measurements will help us start to understand the distribution of resources on the lunar surface, a key to enabling a long-term presence on the Moon," explained Janine Captain, principal investigator for MSolo.

TRIDENT will be delivered to the Moon by private companies through NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services contract. It will reach the Moon more than five decades after NASA first drilled into the lunar surface using the Apollo Lunar Surface Drill in 1971.