March 7, 2010: The Moon Is Soggy!
The Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 used a lightweight imaging radar known as Mini-SAR to identify over 40 pockets of ice on the moon's north pole. The data doesn't include depth of the craters, so any estimate of the available water is pure speculation. Of course, that hasn't stopped the phrase "at least 600 million metric tons of water ice" from being thrown around.
Water on the moon isn't new -- the Daily Illuminator first mentioned it twelve years ago. But this latest report has the water in easy-to-mine, easy-to-melt ice craters, a significant improvement over the old "mine, process, and purify moon dust" idea.
That's one less thing we have to pack for our return trip to our closest satellite.
-- Paul Chapman
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