Water on the Moon

shackleton_198x198The exploration of foreign celestial bodies is particularly interesting for science, when there is the possibility of life could exist. An important condition for this provides the evidence of water (mostly in frozen form, because it contains oxygen).   One may simply say that where water exists, life could develop, or is already present.

This is how the Moon has been examined for ice since decades. At that, the South Pole and the North Pole are particularly of interest, because there are craters that permanently lie in the Sun’s shadow and hence exhibit sufficiently low temperatures. These lunar freezers could contain precious Moon ice.

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Spectacular methods are used, for example in 2009, when the space probe LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite) was deliberately crashed into a crater on the South Pole and initially only the upper part of the probe. This caused a gigantic cloud of dust, which was then analyzed by the remaining part of the probe and the results were sent back to Earth, only four minutes before it crashed and disintegrated as well. After a first glance, no notably large amounts of water could be detected, however, they are currently talking about “more than expected”.

If there were to be a colonization on the Moon one day indeed,  the already introduced hotel on the Moon would appear to be almost tangible. Whether one would need a LUNA credit card for reservations is uncertain … ;-)

Photos: NASA/GSFC/SVS

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