Lots of Water on Moon

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

The Wall Street Journal cites six upcoming Science papers that conclude that there is a lot more water on the moon than anyone expected:

“It’s really wet,” said Anthony Colaprete, co-author of one of the Science papers and a space scientist at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. He and his colleagues estimate that 5.6% of the total mass of the targeted lunar crater’s soil consists of water ice. In other words, 2,200 pounds of moon dirt would yield a dozen gallons of water.

The presence of so much water strengthens the argument for establishing a manned lunar base from which to launch other interplanetary adventures. Water is crucial because its components, hydrogen and oxygen, are key ingredients for rocket fuel.

Having a source of water on the moon is critical because the cost of transporting a large amount from earth would be prohibitive. On the moon, a bottle of water would run about $50,000, according to NASA, because that is what it costs, per pound, to launch anything to the moon.

Leave a Reply