NASA Finds Astronomic Amount of Water on the Moon
October 22, 2010
(ChattahBox Science News) — Any question of whether the moon was simply a giant, dry rock has been permanently dismissed, thanks to a new report indicating that NASA has found what could be up to a billion gallons of water ice on the south pole of the moon, ABC news reports.Last year, NASA crashed an empty rocket into the moon to analyze the type of materials the collision would kick up. The result was that the satellite found about 41 gallons of water in the debris of the crash—which, when calculated across the entire moon’s area, translated into what could total up to a billion gallons, ABC said, citing a study published in the most recent issue of the journal Science.
Although scientists hope this could mean that astronauts may someday find sustenance from the water by melting and purifying it, and breaking down the hydrogen (which they could use for fuel) and oxygen (for breathing), that technology could be a long way off. In addition to finding water, the researchers also discovered minerals on the moon, including mercury, which is toxic if ingested. In addition, the scientists discovered silver, carbon monoxide, and ammonia during the mission, ABC reports.