A first flight opportunity for PROSPECT will be on the Russian-led Luna-27 mission to the South Polar region but the system is suitable for additional flights to different locations. To achieve this, PROSPECT is required to:
- Extract samples from depths of at least 1 m.
- Extract water, oxygen, and other chemicals of interest in the context of resources.
- Identify the chemical species extracted.
- Quantify the abundances of these species.
- Characterize isotopes such that the origins and emplacement processes can be established.
In the lunar polar regions, where water ice may be found, PROSPECT is able to extract and measure this water. At all locations on the Moon PROSPECT is able to extract solar wind which has been implanted into the regolith along with other volatiles contained in these materials. In addition, PROSPECT aims to extract oxygen and other chemicals (that could be of interest as resources) from minerals by a variety of techniques including combustion, hydrogen reduction and carbothermal reduction.