Friday, November 13, 2009

NASA finds water on the moon

NASA scientists said today that spacecraft that crashed into the moon last month found evidence of water inside the deep lunar crater.

"We are ecstatic," Anthony Colaprete, project scientist and principal investigator for the $79 million Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission.

The LCROSS spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral in June atop an Atlas V rocket. On Oct. 9, the rocket's spent Centaur upper stage was sent slamming into the moon at more than 5,600 mph, followed by LCROSS.

The goal was for the Centaur to kick up a plume of debris that could be analyzed for evidence of ice water deep within the Cabeus crater.

"The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water," Colaprete said, according to a NASA statement.

It's not the first time that evidence of water was found on the moon. In September, NASA scientists announced that water molecules are spread across the entire mooon based on findings from an Indian probe that recently orbited the moon.

The presence of water ice on the moon could improve the prospects for a human outpost. Astronauts would not have to rely on expensive shipments of water, oxygen and rocket fuel from Earth.

For more information about today's findings, click here.

IMAGE: The visible camera image showing the ejecta plume at about 20 seconds after impact. Credit: NASA


Anonymous said...

Let's send JimiH there.

Space Man said...

If NASA does not get their needed funding, the only water we will see is coming from a tap. China will get to the moon before we will. What a shame...

Chrystal K. said...

How exciting!

Anonymous said...

Whoop-dee-dooh! Now find a few sandwiches up there and you can start sending people over.

Small Business Man said...

WOW- I wonder what they'll find next?!