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November 13, 2009

Water on the Moon!

In October, I wrote about how NASA was crashing LCROSS into the moon to see how much water was there. The data is in and the result is a massive YES. This is really exciting and has some intriguing implications. Water on the moon could be used by future astronauts as a source of oxygen, as well as drinking water. It also gives us a better idea as to how common water is in the solar system. "We're unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor, and by extension the solar system. It turns out the moon harbors many secrets, and LCROSS has added a new layer to our understanding," said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

I was surprised that these results came out so soon, and NASA says there is more on the way. Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA, said, "The full understanding of the LCROSS data may take some time. The data is that rich. Along with the water in Cabeus, there are hints of other intriguing substances. The permanently shadowed regions of the moon are truly cold traps, collecting and preserving material over billions of years." A big round of applause to NASA for a job well done and getting this information out so fast.

For more information see the NASA article
Image Credit: NASA