“much more water on the moon than thought ” phys.org


"Back in 2009, as part of the LCROSS mission, researchers allowed an empty stage of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) launch vehicle to crash into the floor of a crater close to the moon's south pole. Testing of the debris cloud by sensors aboard the Shepherding Spacecraft, showed evidence of water and ice, along with other material.

The researchers with this new effort believed it was likely that there was more ice on the moon than was shown during the LCROSS impact study—likely existing in shadowed craters similar to those that had been seen on Mercury. To find out, they carried out a parallel crater study, similar to the one they had conducted for Mercury. In this case, they studied 12,000 craters on the moon using data from the LRO. They report that they found "a similar morphological trend" in craters on the south side of the Moon, near the pole. They suggest this indicates that such craters likely harbor thick ice deposits along with other materials similar to those that are believed to exist on Mercury. The researchers suggest that if this is indeed the case, then there could be up to 100 million metric tons of ice in such craters, which they note is double the amount of previous estimates based on data from the LCROSS impact study. The researchers conclude by suggesting that future Moon missions include the use of probes that can be used to study the shaded craters to confirm their suspicions."  phys.org


This is a biggy.  Water is the stuff of life and the presence of this much water on the surface of the moon along with the presence of natural tunnels and caves will make it much easier to establish outposts on the moon.

Why do it?  Think mining of rare earths and other precious materials.  pl


This entry was posted in Science, Space. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to “much more water on the moon than thought ” phys.org

  1. amike says:

    “Water is the stuff of life …”
    Not for life, but robots (hydrogen…). Mining will be automated.

  2. turcopolier says:

    Ah1 No people! I don’t think so.

  3. GeneO says:

    Even my non-scientific mind has long expected Moon ice. And Mars too.
    But Mercury? I thought she was too close to the Sun.

  4. Fred says:

    It would sure cut the amount of water needing to be transported into orbit then to a base on the moon.

  5. Arei says:

    If we mine the moon will we do it on the dark side so a giant pit mine doesn’t ruin the vista?

  6. ambrit says:

    It would be easier to launch water from the Moon to LEO than the other way around. The initial costs for building infrastructure on the Moon would be earned back soon.
    Again, think not having all of our eggs in one big blue basket. Only by some living off Earth will humankind gain some security. Humans are very agile and adjust quickly to new environments. Nothing, maybe not the hearts of stars, is truly out of our reach. We have to make the decision to reach out. It is basic survival.
    With this newly found water, the Moon can become a way station to the cosmos, right now.
    Lets go.

  7. GeneO says:

    Never mind my question about Mercury. Just found a site that explains the polar region is minus 160 degrees F. Weird considering that at their equator it gets up to plus 800 degrees F.

  8. Bill H says:

    Dark side? There is no dark side, so I suspect you meant to say the far side.

  9. Lars says:

    I would like to think that one of my grandchildren would be able to at the end of a hard day in the mines, to sit down and have a moonito and gaze up at the beautiful planet above.

  10. Arei says:

    Dark, far, unseen are synonyms for the side of the moon not locked facing us but that is besides my point. When we do colonize the moon will we protect its beauty or will it become polluted too?

  11. ISL says:

    IT would be even easier to get water to LEO from an asteroid – as long as you have the time and use a solar powered electric gun for propulsion.

  12. ambrit says:

    Agreed if one has a long enough time frame. As with the Sunjammer discussion from a few days ago, several fairly cheap methods of obtaining water from places other than the Earth are available. I favour the Moon as source for near Earth applications because it can be obtained fairly quickly, and cheaper than lifting it from out of the Earth’s gravity well.
    For ‘slow boat’ class cargoes, a sunjammer would be optimal. For human cargoes, a Dumbo or Orion are presently feasible. As an aside, for all those worried about solar flux being an existential threat to human travel around our solar system, well, the shielding needed to protect the human cargo of a vessel from the atomics of the drive would also be adequate to shield those humans in transit from solar flares, etc.
    Feasibility is the name of the game here.

  13. Fred says:

    “Feasibility is the name of the game here.” Yes but also influenced by just how much money is invested for how long before an actual return is made.

  14. ambrit says:

    Yes as to present modes of thought about this sort of project. However, there are some projects that are conceived of differently, such as the Egyptian Pyramids, Stonehenge, the Gothic Churches, etc.
    Reduce or eliminate the purely pecuniary motives of such a project, admitting that the gathering and organization of resources is a sub-task, and amazing things have been, and will be possible. As a side observation, I’ll say that faith, of, really, anything, does indeed move mountains. If those mountains just happen to be in the sky, so much the better.
    When I was young, I truly believed, almost as an article of faith, that mankind would already be exploring the solar system in person by this time. Alas, I might not live to see it, but I still have that hope and faith.

  15. Barbara Ann says:

    Lars you have poetry in your soul. I would hope that moonito would be made from locally grown limes and mint.

Comments are closed.