There seems to be a lot more water on the moon than previously thought. This is evident from two studies published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
In the first study, researchers led by Casey Honibal of the University of Hawaii analyzed data from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia). It is a plane turned over by the US space agency NASA and the German Aerospace Center, which acts as a kind of flying telescope. Examination of Clavius Crater south of the Moon found evidence of water molecules. These can be stored mainly in glass beads or in cracks between the rubble on the surface, it says.
In the second study, a team used NASA data to specifically search for craters, cracks and small areas where water ice could appear. Scientists have noticed that these so-called “cold traps” are almost all smaller than a coin.
Findings relevant to future missions
The Moon’s water resources would be especially important for future lunar missions. According to reports, space researchers are already considering “tank stations” on the way to Mars.
The moon has long been considered a dry celestial body. In 1994, a NASA Clementine probe provided evidence of water in shaded craters. Several findings followed.
This message was broadcast on October 28, 2020 on Deutsche Funk Nova.