“The argument that the moon is a dry, desolate place no longer holds water”, said NASA today. This news comes a couple of months after this ship found ice on the moon.
How much and how did it get there?
A mere 220 pounds of water, which scientists insist is ‘a significant amount’, was found and this would be enough to fill around a dozen buckets of 2-gallons each. We know the lunar surface is hydrated but are not sure about how this happened. Several theories exist:
- The sun did it: interaction between solar winds and moon rocks could have generated the water
- The comets did it: comets carrying ice and water may have impacted with the moon
- The Clouds did it: giant molecular clouds that passed through the solar system may have played a role
We had always thought the Moon was bone dry so this is potentially a great discovery for mankind, for lunar water can be used:
- As drinking water
- As a source of oxygen
- As a source of rocket fuel in the form of hydrogen
- A window in the past of our solar system’s climate (since the water and ice preserve historical data through minerals and other debris)
However, the fact that $79 million were spent on confirming the presence of water which was already discovered by Indians several years ago, makes one wonder if we’re stretching our ambitions in the wrong direction.Now what?
Scientists are planning to send more probes to the Moon to find other sources of ice which may be usable for the purpose of drinking or rocket fuel or even for setting up a lunar base for man. That’s more tax-payers money being spent on things that do not directly or positively affect us.Sources: Space.com, Technorati, MSN, Nat Geo, NASA (Image)