The mission of Resource Prospector compiled of a solar-powered rover attached with a drill and a lander. The activity of the rover was to investigate the surface of the Moon and dig its surface for analyzing. The research would have offered a concrete source of evidence to the scientists to support the theory of the presence of water ice on the moon.
As the lunar ice can be melted to split into oxygen and hydrogen, offering a fine source of water, rocket propellant, and oxygen, this research will crucially support the expansion of the human presence on the lunar surface. This will not only effectively reduce the cost associated with the launches but will also make the activities of the human self-sustaining as these resources can be created on the site itself.
As per a planetary physicist, Phil Metzger, from the University of Central Florida, if the demonstration regarding the availability of water on the lunar surface is established successfully, equipment can be designed to mine and deliver water to the outposts.
The mission of Resource Prospector has passed the drawing board but has not been financially supported. The engineers have been putting their endeavors on this project for last four years and the prototypical testing has already been accomplished in 2015 and 2016. It is also anticipated that the mission will be launched in 2022.
Though the mission was an essential part of the research, the problems initiated after the Directorate of the research work got transferred within NASA. Primarily, the funding was acquired from the human exploration but later shifted to the division of the funds for scientific missions. The reason for the cancellation of the mission is the ambiguity of the situation. Resource Prospector didn’t fit perfectly well within the budget or priorities of the Science Mission Directorate’s activities but is a part of a robotic mission.