A major finding with regards to water on the moon could solve a riddle that has puzzled scientists for years now.
The question of where the water is on the moon has been one that has baffled scientists for years, and now a new analysis of data from previous lunar missions has uncovered evidence that water on the moon is distributed widely across its surface rather than stuck in any one place. And it will be rather difficult for mankind to access it, a discovery that could have big implications for future manned missions or bases.
At a fundamental level, this discovery could help scientists understand where the water on the moon came from, and whether it could be used as a resource. Future lunar explorers could make use of moon water if it was relatively easy to access, but if it’s not, that changes the game.
Scientists also found that it did not matter the time of day or which latitude was examined, water always seemed to be present somewhere. It also did not appear to matter what the composition of the surface was, and such findings actually run counter to previous studies that indicated water was pooled at the polar regions of the moon and changes with the lunar day.
“Water on the Moon is of intense interest for many reasons,” said SwRI’s Dr. Michael Poston, a coauthor of the paper, “Widespread Distribution of OH/ H2O on the Lunar Surface Inferred from Spectral Data,” published in Nature Geoscience online. “When you split water molecules, you end up with oxygen and hydrogen, critical components for breathable air and rocket fuel. Hydroxyl (OH) is a more reactive relative to water and not as attractive as water in terms of supporting a lunar station.”