Friday, September 25, 2009
Lunar Missions Detect Water on Moon
Scientists analyzing information from three lunar missions have found clear evidence of water on the moon. Information gathered from three space vehicles, including India's Chandrayaan-1, found small amounts of water present in particles that make up the moon's soil. The studies will be published in Friday's edition of the journal Science.Researchers say water molecules were found by analyzing data from the three probes which were equipped with NASA instruments designed to map the moon's mineral composition. Scientists say the evidence suggests that larger amounts of water may also be present in colder parts of the moon such as craters at the lunar poles.The findings overturn long-held beliefs that the surface of the moon was dry, potentially paving the way for scientists to one day set up a permanent research base on the moon. Next month, NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite will deliberately crash a satellite into the moon's southern pole in an attempt to detect water and ice.