Monday, August 02, 2010

Water Found On Moon Could Mean A Moon Base Is On The Horizon

The moon isn't that empty, dusty, dry little "ghost town moon" you may have stuck in your head. I'm not saying there is little green men on the moon, but what I'm trying to tell you is that new research has indicated that water on the moon is much more abundant that originally thought. It's not exactly in the form of H2O but its close enough. Add some heat and abracadabra, you get water. Abundant water on the moon could make building a moon base a little bit easier. Read on to see why.

It was last year that some scientists from the University of Knoxville, Tennessee found traces of water in the upper layers of the Moon's surface. The discovery was dubbed "lunar dew" and changed the dry moon theory upside-down. Lunar dew is thought to possibly come from solar wind, which invites hydrogen to meet and shake hands with the oxygen on the Moon, forming water. 

New research has found even more water
New research, from the guys at the University of Knoxville, Tennessee and geologists at the California Institute of Technology, has indicated that there is even more water on the Moon than originally thought. Unlike Lunar dew, this new source of water is much more widespread and comes from something completely different. They don't have a precise clue of where this source of water has come from, but speculation is impacts from comets could have possibly left some residual ice or hot magma that existed during the birth of the moon, preserved some water.

The importance of widespread water on the moon
This research is very important because with good supplies of water on the moon, this could mean that a human "moonbase" is more plausible. Currently, it would cost you 25 grand just to take 1 pint of water to the moon. I don't know about you, but that's not economically feasible to me. So now, with the water resource more abundant, scientists can create ways to extract this water and enable astronauts to use it as fuel or drinking water. This would lift a huge economic burden and make life on the moon more sustainable.

"Now we have ready sources of water that can be consumed by plants and humans but also electrolyzed into liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to develop rocket fuel," explains Larry Taylor, one of the many scientists of the research.

This research was published in an article called, “Lunar Apatite with Terrestrial Volatile Abundances” in the July 22 issue of the scientific journal, Nature.

Maybe one day you will be strolling through your local grocery store and on the shelf is distilled water, drinking water, moon water! It could happen!

Pack your bags, were heading to the Moon!

Further Reading:
Evidence of Water in Lunar Rocks: Water on Moon May Be Widespread, Similar to Earth's
UT researchers discover water on the moon is widespread, similar to Earth's