Wa­ter ice found at lu­nar poles

How It Works - - SPACE -

From data col­lected by the In­dian Space Re­search Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Chan­drayaan-1 space­craft, launched in 2008, sci­en­tists have found de­fin­i­tive ev­i­dence of wa­ter ice lo­cated at both poles of the Moon. Cour­tesy of NASA’S Moon Min­er­al­ogy Map­per (M3) in­stru­ment, sci­en­tists were able to de­tect the pres­ence of solid ice. The in­stru­ment was able to lo­cate the re­flec­tive prop­er­ties ex­pected from ice and also dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween liq­uid wa­ter or vapour and solid ice based on the dis­tinc­tive way its mol­e­cules ab­sorb in­frared light. These sources are lo­cated in the shad­ows of craters near the poles, where tem­per­a­tures never get above -157 de­grees Cel­sius. This has tan­ta­lis­ing im­pli­ca­tions for any mis­sion back to the Moon, as the wa­ter could pos­si­bly be used as drink­ing wa­ter or even rocket fuel for fu­ture ex­plo­ration.

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