November 15, 2009


SUDDENLY, THE moon looks exciting again. Experts have long suspected there was water on the moon. Confirmation came from data churned up by two Nasa spacecraft that intentionally slammed into a lunar crater last month.

“Indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn’t find just a little bit. We found a significant amount,” said Anthony Colaprete, the principal investigator for Nasa’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, holding up a white water bucket for emphasis.

The lunar crash kicked up at least 95 liters (25 gallons) and that’s only what scientists could see from the plumes of the impact, Colaprete said. Some space policy experts say that makes the moon attractive for exploration again. Having an abundance of water would make it easier to set up a base camp for astronauts, supplying drinking water and a key ingredient for rocket fuel.