Thursday, January 29th, 2015
The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal of producing critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. MVP feeds science, payload, and operational lessons learned to the development of a real-time, short-duration lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission. MVP achieved these goals through a simulated lunar rover mission to investigate the composition and distribution of surface and subsurface volatiles in a natural and a priori unknown environment within the Mojave Desert, improving our understanding of how to find, characterize, and access volatiles on the Moon.
MVP conducted a simulated lunar polar rover mission with the NASA KREX-2 rover operated in the Mojave Desert by a remote Science Operations Center located at NASA Ames Research Center and a Rover Operations Center located in the Mojave, with each location staffed with specific console positions. A Science Backroom was also located at Ames where scientists typically conducted more in-depth data analysis during the mission. MVP used the Exploration Ground Data Systems (xGDS) software to develop strategic and tactical mission plans, monitor rover data in real-time, and conduct science data analysis.
This work was recently highlighted on the Discovery Channel and features footage from both the Mojave Desert field site and the remote Science Operations Center (based at NASA Ames). The video segment can be viewed here: http://www.discovery.ca/Video?vid=505098