Saturday, November 14, 2009

Space: LCROSS finds water on the Moon

The LCROSS mission we reported on live last month has had its initial data analysis completed and the news is good! There is now conclusive evidence for water on the Moon.

Google updated its logo to celebrate the LCROSS mission success



There are lots of excellent media summaries regarding the news already, which we will link to at the end of this update.

Many were wrongly disappointed last month when the impact plume from the centaur stage was less spectacular than hoped. Thankfully the resultant plume of ~1.6km (rather than the expected 10km) was ample to provide all the data required.

Water on the Moon is a significant boost for humankind's eventual expansion from Earth, at least initially with a small Moon base. Providing our species some redundancy against catastrophic meteor impacts upon Earth.

The Moon could also provide a good experimental testing ground for our further expansion to Mars, a much more viable target for long term human habitation.

Water provides us with some of the essential ingredients for life, as well as the ability to make rocket fuel.


Further reading
NASA: LCROSS impact data indicates water on Moon

BBC: 'Significant' water found on Moon 
PR Newswire: NASA's LCROSS Impacts Confirm Water In Lunar Crater 

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