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Old 11-14-2009, 02:59 PM
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Default Water on the moon?!

This is AWESOME!

Courtesy http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquire...-water-on-moon

LOS ANGELES—SUDDENLY, THE moon looks exciting again. It has lots of water, scientists said Friday (Saturday in Manila)—a thrilling discovery that sent a ripple of hope for a future astronaut outpost in a place that has always seemed barren and inhospitable.

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.

Scientists also hope that the water, in the form of ice accumulated over billions of years, holds a record of the solar system’s history.

The satellite, known as Lcross (pronounced L-cross), crashed into a crater near the Moon’s south pole a month ago. The 9,000-kilometers-per-hour impact carved out a hole 20 to 30 meters wide and kicked up the liters of water in the forms of ice and vapor.

The water findings came through an analysis of the slight shifts in color after the impact, showing telltale signs of water molecules that had absorbed specific wavelengths of light. “We got good fits,” Colaprete said. “It was a unique fit.”

For more than a decade, planetary scientists have seen tantalizing hints of water ice at the bottom of these cold craters where the sun never shines. The Lcross mission, intended to look specifically for water, was made up of two pieces—an empty rocket stage to slam into the floor of Cabeus, a crater about 70 km wide and 3 km deep, and a small spacecraft to measure what was kicked up. In the event, the small craft also hit the surface.

New moon image

“It’s very exciting, it is painting a new image of the moon,” said Gregory Deloy, from the University of California, hailing it as “an extraordinary discovery.”

He theorized that “one of the possible source of water is a comet.”

“We’re unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and, by extension, the solar system,” said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at Nasa headquarters in Washington.

12 men on moon

Only 12 men, all Americans, have ever walked on the moon, and the last to set foot there were in 1972, at the end of the Apollo missions.

But Nasa’s ambitious plans to put US astronauts back on the moon by 2020 to establish manned lunar bases for further exploration to Mars under the Constellation project are increasingly in doubt.

“This new and terrific result reassures us about lunar resources, but … the challenges currently facing the human space flight program remain,” Chris Chyba, a Princeton astrophysicist, said.

Nasa’s budget is currently too small to pay for Constellation’s Orion capsule, a more advanced and spacious version of the Apollo lunar module, as well as the Ares I and Ares V launchers needed to put the craft in orbit.

President George W. Bush had proposed a more than $100-billion plan to return astronauts to the moon, then go on to Mars; a test flight of an early version of a new rocket was a success last month.

Existing budgets not enough

A key review panel appointed by President Barack Obama said existing budgets are not large enough to fund a return mission before 2020.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who in 1969 made his historic Apollo 11 moonwalk with Neil Armstrong, was pleased to hear the latest discovery, but still believes the US should focus on colonizing Mars.

“People will overreact to this news and say, ‘Let’s have a water rush to the moon,”’ Aldrin said. “It doesn’t justify that.”



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Last edited by 98sst; 11-14-2009 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:09 PM
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wow...who woulda thought...first cheese on the moon, now water!
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by MADDOG View Post
wow...who woulda thought...first cheese on the moon, now water!
Yup! Sad that we won't be able to go up till 2020 minimum since we can't fund it lol.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:01 PM
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The mandate isn't there to fund such exploration (I think they wanna try colonization as well...very expensive) given the problems we have with today's economy.

The exploration of the late 50's and into the late 60's was a presidential mandate and an attempt to maintain technological superiority over the Soviets. We achieved great things but we also had an economy that was much more robust than what we enjoy today.

It may happen, it may not...we'll have to wait (well, you'll have to wait - I'll be dead by then) and see how things move forward.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:14 PM
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Yeah, what sucks is that NASA is probably so excited to get this moving, only to find that they have to wait years and years lol. I find it funny that Aldrin said that we should focus more on colonizing Mars. That is extremely far away, considering we do not have a ship that can have the fuel capacity to get them there in about 130 days there, and 130 back. I can't even imagine how we're going to figure that out!

Who knows, if it keeps goin like it is, it'll be my kids waiting!
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Last edited by 98sst; 11-14-2009 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Misspelled Aldrin
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:16 PM
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Despite the physiological challenges (bone loss, loss of muscle, other issues), it's still a huge challenge.

That's why I suspect if we fund new moon exploration, some aspect of it will include colonization to test and fine tune our tools and processes so we can go to Mars...eventually.

Aldrin's contention that we start with Mars is a bit of starry eyed vision with a lack of objective reality on what it's going to take and what we need to learn to get there.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MADDOG View Post
Despite the physiological challenges (bone loss, loss of muscle, other issues), it's still a huge challenge.

That's why I suspect if we fund new moon exploration, some aspect of it will include colonization to test and fine tune our tools and processes so we can go to Mars...eventually.

Aldrin's contention that we start with Mars is a bit of starry eyed vision with a lack of objective reality on what it's going to take and what we need to learn to get there.
I remember watching a series called "Mission to Mars" in science, and those were big issues to take into consideration. If tensions raise, you cannot separate from eachother for long, seeing as you are together for up to 8 months at a time. They believed (at the time) that we will begin the voyage before 2050.

I totally agree with the colonization. Now with the discovery of water, we may (or may not) be able to drink it for our use, but it can also be broken down and used for fuel for coming home or whatever they plan to do.
I believe a colony is extremely risky still. I can't imagine knowing that there is no oxygen up there and at any moment a catastrophic failure could occur leading to the for-sure deaths of those people.

This is all stuff that is hard to process. I also learned about the LHC in science (Large Hadron Collider) and they are capable of shooting protons at millionths of a fraction within the speed of light. They revolve around the 20 mile ring ( I forgot the actual #) about 11000 times per second. If we were to shoot a person at this velocity, they would live near one million years. That is so hard to understand, but it is true.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:04 PM
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who cares i just want a bottle of moon water!!!!
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:18 PM
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Mmm, moon fresh!
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:16 PM
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Money is just a drop in the ocean(sorry for the pun- water on the moon)against men on the moon! The main reason against colanization of the moon is something you might have noticed the moon has plenty of,.......... Craters.............These are not volcanic, but caused by strikes from Meteors from outer space.
Imagine one hitting the lunar colony!
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