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Europe plans Lunar Lander mission in 2018

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WASHINGTON (BNS): ESA is planning to launch its Lunar Lander mission in 2018, the unmanned craft will land near the lunar South Pole to seek water and other volatile resources.

Europe is developing the technology for the Lunar Lander mission, a precursor voyage to the Moon in preparation for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.

The lander's scientific payload addresses a number of key aspects of the unique environment on the Moon: radiation, dust, habitats and volatiles. Volatiles, such as water, are those delicate chemical components that under certain conditions would just disappear.

Volatiles may be readily extracted from lunar soil and provide valuable resources such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus or sulphur to aid future human exploration.

Like water, these chemical elements have been implanted by billions of years of exposure to the solar wind and are especially likely to be found at the poles.

ESA has selected the South Pole as a landing site, as it will allow the lander to rely on solar power alone and the mission will explore different places from the equatorial regions which were explored during the Apollo era.

This will give an opportunity to scientists to do new experiments and get complete new insights, said ESA.

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