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04

Water on moon more accessible than previously believed

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Water on moon more accessible than previously believed

We all know the important role water plays in all our lives. Whether it is hygiene, hydration, cooking or cleaning, water is front and center. So, when reports of water on the moon being more accessible than previously believed, NASA was excited.

The discovery means astronauts could possibly live and work on the moon.

Water has been found on the moon before, but until now, it was believed to be harder and more dangerous for astronauts to get to. Initial studies showed water located deep in large craters at the lunar south pole, which is nearly always in shadows. That was believed to be -400 degrees Fahrenheit.

That is until the recent discovery of water being "trapped in tiny pockets or small craters littered all over the Moon's surface, making water potentially more abundant and more accessible than we could have imagined."

Assuming the water is more accessible, it opens the possibility of space explorers setting up a base on the moon. Additional testing is required to determine whether the water is safe to drink or use to hydrate plants. Additionally, water in its basic elements - hydrogren and oxygen - can be used to make rocket fuel. It could also mean future missions to the Moon don't need to bring as much water with them, making those trips less expensive.

However, NASA's excitement is lessened by the amount (or lack thereof) of water discovered - about 12 ounces in a cubic meter of soil. Additionally, getting the water from the soil is "going to take a lot of work," but it is easier than getting water from a deep crater in -400 degree temperature.

So, additional research is required, but initial data is encouraging on this discovery.


Photo by LUIS ACOSTA/AFP via Getty Images as used by TheVerge.com.

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