2009 Science News: Water Discovered on the Moon

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

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Water Discovered on the Moon

In November, NASA's Lcross satellite made a much-anticipated discovery: water on the Moon. The Lcross mission, the goal of which was to look for water, was comprised of two parts: the satellite crashed into a crater near the Moon's south pole, and then a spacecraft measured the findings of that crash.

While scientists had long assumed that the Moon was dry, signs that there was a small amount of ice in the polar craters gave them reason to believe water may be found in other places. In September, research pointed to the possibility that much of the surface of the Moon is entirely covered in a sheet of water.

The significant amount of water found on the Moon during the Lcross mission—at least 26 gallons—demonstrated the possibility of sustainable human life there. The water might also help scientists learn more about the history of the solar system. Whatever the discovery of water tells them about the past, NASA scientists agree that there are many unanswered questions left about what water means for future work on the Moon.

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