NASA Will Spend $35 Million On A New Mission To Probe The Moon’s Mysterious Volcanoes

NASA has green-lit a mission to explore a region of the Moon never before visited in an effort to understand a geological mystery—and help future lunar colonists.

The Lunar-VISE (Lunar Vulkan Imaging and Spectroscopy Explorer) robotic rover mission will cost $35 million and launch in 2026 to study the chemical composition of the Gruithuisen Domes.

two mysterious volcanic features that appear to be made of rock hardened from cooled magma—possibly like Mount St. Helens in Washington State.

However, formations like the Gruithuisen Domes on Earth require oceans and plate tectonics, neither of which the Moon has or had.

However they formed and evolved it’s thought that the domes, which appear to be warm, could be a source of heat for long term exploration of the Moon.

The lunar surface around the Gruithuisen Domes is like nothing seen before by NASA.

The Gruithuisen Domes are in the western Mare Imbrium basin rim in the northwest of the Moon as we see it from Earth.

Lunar-VISE will have five scientific instruments, two on a stationary lander and three on a mobile rover.

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