As hellomagyar.hu reported, the whole story began in 2020, with a competition NASA held for companies to develop miniature devices easily usable on the Moon. They named the competition “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload”. The funny name is quite indicative: the project needed devices that are small, light, and very portable. These are all key concepts in space travel. Out of 29 countries, 132 entries were made. They were all concepts of miniature scientific devices that can help monitor the lunar environment and explore resources.
But what exactly is this “dog”?
The Puli Lunar Water Snooper, also known as PLWS, is a 10x10x3,4 cm sized device. This tiny, rather portable box is a water detector. It only weighs about 400 g, but it is able to detect hydrogen and hydrogen-containing volatile matter, like ice. NASA has stated before that there is a lot of ice on the poles of the Moon. This is the goal of this project, to find and utilise that water to help astronauts with their supply.
The Puli Lunar Water Snooper came in first place in the first round of this competition in the summer of 2020, taking home a grand prize worth USD 30,000. The next round of the competition was to prove to NASA that their project can be done in a year with a detailed plan. Out of the 10 teams entering, this time, the PLWS finished in the still impressive second place. The developing team had proven themselves, and this way, in the next mission, a PLWS will truly snoop for water on the Moon.
Now, PLWS prepares for its journey to the Moon where it will work in radical conditions. Its area of interest will be the Moon’s “always shaded” parts where it is usually around -200°C.
Source: hellomagyar.hu, pulispace.com