The Resource Prospector mission would have sent a rover to the moon’s polar regions to learn about water and other deposits on and just beneath the lunar surface.
The Resource Prospector mission consisted of a lander and a solar-powered rover equipped with a drill. The rover would have scouted the lunar surface, digging up soil for analysis.
Scientists know that water ice exists on the moon, but the Resource Prospector would have provided scientists with a complete understanding of these deposits.
Such knowledge is crucial in expanding a human presence on the moon. Lunar ice can potentially be melted and split into oxygen and hydrogen, providing a local source of water, oxygen and rocket propellant. Not only would this help make human activities more self-sustaining, but it would also dramatically reduce launch costs because much of these vital resources could be produced on site.