Feeds

Our Moon is wet and welcoming, says excited NASA

Crater bottom pole-plunge probe's moist bonanza

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Moon has water in usable amounts in one of its south-polar craters, scientists have announced. The news means that manned Moonbases could potentially be much cheaper to operate than they would otherwise be.

Results from NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) reveal sizeable amounts of ice crystals in the Moon's permanently shaded craters.

Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA, said: "NASA has convincingly confirmed the presence of water ice and characterized its patchy distribution in permanently shadowed regions of the moon."

The LCROSS mission saw a used rocket stage crashed into the Cabeus crater at the lunar south pole in order that the resulting plume of long-buried material could be studied by Earthly telescopes and instruments aboard the LRO and a special spaceprobe following the empty rocket down. About 20 per cent of the plume was made up of volatiles including methane, ammonia, hydrogen gas, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

The probe also found light metals like sodium, mercury and possibly silver.

NASA reckons the materials found could offer evidence of a water cycle through which water reacts with the lunar soil. The cycle could take hundreds of thousands of years and could also be happening on other chilly bodies.

The presence of water - which would otherwise need to be brought up from Earth at huge expense - and potential fuel like methane and hydrogen makes future habitation of the Moon much more achievable. It also offers the prospect of lunar rocket-fuel exports to other places, for instance Earth orbit.

NASA's release is here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.