November 13, 2009

Water found on the moon, not cheese

Remember that big NASA impact on the moon a while back? Well apparently the data is back and they've found quite a substantial amount of water of the moon. Looks like we might be going back...

Substantial water reserves have been found beneath the Moon’s surface, Nasa announced yesterday, paving the way for a permanent lunar base.

The discovery came from Nasa’s “moon bombing” mission, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) probe, which was deliberately crashed into the lunar South Pole last month. An analysis of the dust thrown up from the impact revealed the presence of about 80 litres of water, or enough for a shallow bath. The results suggest that much larger, more accessible reserves are available at the poles.

“We can announce that we’ve found water — not just a little bit, a significant amount,” said Tony Colaprete, principal investigator for the mission at Nasa’s Ames Research Centre in California.

The exact form of the water is not yet clear, but it is likely to be spread out in small ice crystals. The rocket hit the Moon at an area where the surface temperature is around -230C. This region has not been in direct sunlight for at least two billion years. 

And it's still probably cleaner than the tap water in LA. Wonderful. (This is from Tech Rave)

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