Friday, October 22, 2010

Water on the Moon
This is pretty cool, and amazing, and a good reminder that we really don't know what the hell is out there. With decades now to study the moon with super magnifying telescopes, the ability to send robot probes and even visiting the place in person a time or 2, we still couldn't definitively say whether there was water or not. Until now.
Last October, as it neared impact, the Lcross spacecraft released the empty second stage and slowed down slightly so that it could watch the stage’s 5,600-mile-per-hour crash into a 60-mile-wide, 2-mile-deep crater named Cabeus. A few minutes later, Lcross, quickly transmitting its gathered data to Earth, met a similar demise.

For people who watched the live Webcast video transmitted by Lcross, the event was a disappointment, with no visible plume from the impacts. But as they analyzed the data, scientists found everything they were looking for, and more. Last November, the team reported that the impact had kicked up at least 26 gallons of water, confirming suspicions of ice in the craters.
The water, scientists say, could conceivably be used for drinking or to be broken down and turned into fuel, perhaps for a trip to Mars.


stevie t said...

Then why can't we break it down and use it for fuel for our cars???

Don said...

A purely water-fueled car is apparently just science fiction. Maybe the article is just referring to Hydrogen fuel which would still be costly, require lots of energy for electrolysis. Maybe the kind of thing you would only do when the other option is being stuck on the moon?