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NASA selects two further instruments to investigate the Moon under Artemis

Artist’s impression of a commercial lander on the moon. Credit: NASA

Edinburgh, 10 June, 2022. – NASA has selected two science instrument suites during the second selection through the agency’s Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon (PRISM) call for proposals, to explore the Moon under the Artemis program. The Lunar Vulkan Imaging and Spectroscopy Explorer (Lunar-VISE) and the Lunar Explorer Instrument for space biology Applications (LEIA) will be deployed to the lunar surface through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.

The Lunar-VISE investigation consists of five instruments, two mounted on a stationary lander and three on a mobile rover. Lunar-VISE will explore one of the volcanic Gruithuisen Domes’ summit over the course of 10 Earth days (one lunar day). The data collected and returned will help scientists understand how these formations came to be. It will also aid future robotic and human missions to our natural satellite.

LEIA is a small CubeSat-based device that will conduct biological research. It will deliver the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to the Moon and study its response to radiation and lunar gravity. As the yeast models human biology, it will enable the investigation of DNA damage response and repair.

The payload suites are planned to be delivered to the lunar surface in 2026.

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