Ice on the moon? Mars? Not a science fiction movie. Four reports published in ‘Science’ reveal what international space missions, including NASA and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), have found, revealing evidence of frozen water. Keep reading for video reports and more details.
The findings which are to be published in the journal on Sept. 25, are of water in the form of ice, due to the low temperatures on the surfaces of Mars and the moon. They stem from recent exploration missions. It was the ISRO Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft which is the first-ever space mission to the moon by India, which carried NASA Moon Mineralogy Mapper, also known as M3, found water molecules on the moon’s surface.
This is a discovery of magnitude as it changes scientific perception of the moon as a lifeless surface. With the knowledge of water present on the moon, it opens possibilities for human exploration and perhaps habitation. The Times of India quotes from a NASA press conference making the announcement. It states in part:
“We want to thank ISRO for making the discovery possible. Moon till now was thought to be a very dry surface with lot of rocks…Discovery of moon is a major leap in our knowledge of the moon.”
Regarding the findings, Carle Pieters of Brown University in Rhode Island issued a statement to put them in perspective from which Reuters quotes.
“When we say ‘water on the moon,’ we are not talking about lakes, oceans or even puddles. Water on the moon means molecules of water and hydroxyl (hydrogen and oxygen) that interact with molecules of rock and dust specifically in the top millimeters of the moon’s surface.”
National Geographic has further discussion of the discovery, which can be seen here.
More on the story in the two video reports below. That is the latest news on the significant scientific discovery, due in part to the efforts of the ISRO Chandrayaan-1 mission, of ice on the moon and Mars.