When thirsty residents of a permanent community on the Moon take a swig of fresh water brought in from the lunar south pole, theyll be enjoying the benefits of a 30-pound spacecraft known as theLunar Flashlightthat was assembled and tested at theGeorgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

Lunar Flashlight will use powerful lasers and an onboard spectrometer to search shaded areas of craters at the south pole for evidence of surface ice. Earlier NASA missions have shown that the Moon may have frozen water in these areas, and by orbiting close to the surface, the spacecraft will be able to identify locations that may be worthy of exploration by future missions.

Lunar Flashlight was developed by a team fromNASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL),NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), theUniversity of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Georgia Tech, andNASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).