American space agency NASA made the surprising announcement on Monday that there is far more water on the moon than they thought.
The agency said that the water was discovered for the first time outside the sunless, frigid poles. It may be trapped in “glass beads” about the size of a pencil tip.
“This discovery that water might be distributed across the lunar surface and not limited’’ to ice at the poles, as the space agency thought, raises the possibility that it could be “accessible as a human resource,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s astrophysics director.
Per the New York Post:
Enough water was detected in a cubic meter of sunlit soil to fill a 12-ounce bottle, said Casey Honniball of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
She said the water may have come from a combination of hydrogen molecules in solar rings mixed with oxygen in the moon’s powdery soil.
“We think the water is trapped in these glass beads … which protects and preserves [it],’’ Honniball said.
“It’s incredible that this discovery came out of what was essentially a test, and now that we know we can do this, we’re planning more flights to do more observation,’’ SOFIA scientist Naseem Rangwala said in a statement.
The discovery has refueled the debate over whether it would be feasible to travel to nearby planets and set up colonies. Such water could be used for a number of life-sustaining purposes.
Indeed, if future astronauts could expect to mine existing water on other planets, it would make it easier to travel there and set up a base because humans would not have to carry water with them.
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