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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Moon Mineralogy Mapper: Water, Water!!!

WATER UPDATE: --- Moon water and lots of it is expected to be announced at a 2 PM EDT press conference set for Thursday at NASA HQ detailing the results from the The Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) that was abaord the science suite of India's now defuct Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiting spacecraft.

Dr. Carle M. Pieters of Brown University, planetary geologist and principal investigator of the M3 instrument, will conduct the press briefing. A recent report published by Nature News hints: “Results soon to be published… will show detailed spectra confirming that, indeed, the polar regions of the moon are chockfull of water-altered minerals.”

After suffering from several technical issues including failure of the star sensors and poor thermal shielding, Chandrayaan stopped sending radio signals on August 29, 2009 shortly after which, India's space agency officially declared the mission over. Chandrayaan operated for 312 days as opposed to the intended two years but the mission achieved 95 percent of its planned objectives.

Many space science experts believe that confirmed water ice on the moon may result in spacefaring nations sending several new probes to the Moon in the near-term years ahead and re-spark national and international efforts to return humans to the lunar surface.


Chris Brown said...

I think its cool that there is water on the moon but what does that mean for us will there ever be a chance to live there ???

JackKennedy said...

In response to Chris Brown, here is what the Space Frontier Foundation leaders have said:

"This discovery marks a turning point for humanity's future in space," remarked Foundation Director Berin Szoka. "Just as lumber, coal, and oil found in the New World powered America's development, the precious resource of Lunar water will enable a truly open frontier in space."

"Lunar water will be he 'mother's milk' of permanent human settlement not just of the Moon but of the rest of the Solar System," concluded Szoka. "Finding water on the Moon is the key to opening the Space Frontier: Once you can refuel in space, you can 'live off the land' just like the early settlers who opened frontiers on Earth."

"If we have water we have the core elements needed to support life," said SFF Founder Rick Tumlinson. "H2O is a magic formula: We can drink it, raise crops with it, or even break it down for oxygen to breathe. We can even recombine the hydrogen and oxygen to make rocket propellant. Confirming the widespread existence of Moonwater means we have a nearby oasis in space around which we can build true human communities beyond the Earth. There will be flowers on the Moon in our lifetimes."