New discovery from NASA: water found on the moon, hopes for a strengthened base


  • Victoria Gill
  • Science journalist, BBC News

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NASA has mapped the surface of the moon. The location of the water will determine where the base will be installed.

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced the discovery, mentioned days ago, and announced the final tests of water on the Moon, our only natural satellite.

The claim that “water molecules have been detected” will bolster NASA’s hopes of establishing a base on the moon.

The goal is to use the natural resources of the Moon and ensure the continuity of this base.

Unlike water previously discovered in the moon’s shadowed craters, scientists have detected water molecules on the side of the moon facing the sun.

One of the study’s authors, Casey Honniball, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Flight Center in Maryland, said the amount of water discovered in the conference call he organized online equals about 12 ounces of bottled water.

The researchers confirmed that instead of hydroxyl (OH), there is water ice (H2O) on the surface of the Moon.

NASA’s Jacob Bleacher also said researchers should continue working to better understand the structure of the water sediment. These studies will help determine how accessible water will be available for lunar exploration.

Previous research has revealed that there are signs of water on the surface of the Moon, but new findings show that the amount of water could be much higher than previously thought.

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Illustration: NASA wants to return to the moon, but this time it will be permanent, not temporary.

Speaking to the BBC, Open University scientist Hannah Sargeant said, “This gives us options for potential water resources on the Moon. The location of the base on the Moon largely depends on where the water is.”

NASA has announced that it will send a female and a male astronaut to the moon in 2024 in preparation for manned exploration work on Mars, which is expected to begin in the early 1930s.

Dr Sargeant said these findings are important in terms of “making remote exploration more sustainable” and said: “Part of this is using local resources in the region, especially water resources.”

How did scientists find water on the lunar surface?

The first step of new discoveries was the telescope called Sofia (Stratosphere Infrared Astronomical Observatory).

Placed on a modified Boeing 747 aircraft, this telescope traveled through much of the Earth’s atmosphere, collecting unobstructed images of the Solar System.

Using the infrared telescope, the researchers determined the colors belonging to the water molecules.

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Illustration: Astronauts will travel to the moon in a spacecraft called the Orion.

Scientists say water can be present in “lunar glasses” as bubbles or scattered as grains of soil to protect against harsh environmental conditions.

In another study, scientists looked at the shadowed parts of the moon, also known as “cold traps”. It was thought that the water may have settled here permanently. The researchers concluded that “the water (ice floes) may have been trapped in about 40,000 square kilometers of the lunar surface.

What does the discovery mean?

Dr. “This expands the list of places where we would like to create a base,” Sargeant said.

There are several lunar missions planned for the next few years. But in the long run, plans are being made to establish a permanent base on the Moon’s surface.

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A view of the Moon from the International Space Station

Open University researcher Dr. “This could have some implications. It could save us time to do some investigations. We are currently working on the idea of ​​the moon base and where we are going. But now these are more promising,” Sargeant said.

Saying, “We’re already going to the moon,” Dr. “But this gives us more options and makes our destination more exciting,” said Sargeant.

Experts said that after determining how to remove the ice and water, the foundations for the future of the “lunar economy” will be laid.

Producing rocket fuel on the moon instead of sending it off Earth will reduce the cost. So when lunar explorers want to return to Earth or want to go elsewhere, they can use water to convert it into hydrogen and oxygen, which are commonly used for spacecraft energy.

Refueling on the Moon also reduces the cost of space travel and makes the base on the Moon more accessible.

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