NASA’s moon-exploring Viper will be the first rover to rock headlights

The Viper team tested prototype LED headlight arrays on a simulated lunar landscape.

NASA/Dominic Hart

With a name like “Viper,” you know NASA is serious about doing some hard-core rover exploration on the moon. The space agency’s in-development four-wheeled lunar vehicle has already booked a ride to space for 2023, but it’s in need of some serious candlepower to light up its destination on the moon’s south pole.

NASA shared a behind-the-scenes look last week at how it’s developing “the first-ever lighting system on a rover.” The Viper team put some car-like prototype headlights through their paces at a testing site designed to simulate the lunar landscape at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California.

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