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Water on the Moon, lots of it.

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LunaSea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:24 AM
Original message
Water on the Moon, lots of it.
Reliable sources report that there will be a press conference at NASA HQ at 2:00 pm this Thursday featuring lunar scientist Carle Pieters from Brown University.

The topic of the press briefing will be a paper that will appear in this week's issue of Science magazine wherein results from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) aboard Chandrayaan-1 will be revealed.

The take home message: there is a lot of water on the Moon.

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1350

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Bicoastal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm thirsty.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. It will make building a facility or a colony there much easier.
if we don't have to send them water from earth.
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Hoopla Phil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. Yep. Colonization of the moon is the next step to deep space exploration.
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Let's send the republicans there.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. Read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Heinlein
The moon was used as a prison colony. Doesn't make sense. Too expensive moving all that hot air all the way to the moon.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. Water on the moon means we have hydrogen, and a lot of it.
So we have fuel. We have he most basic element necessary to maintain life.

The graivity on the moon is much lower, so this makes it easier to move material from the surface to orbit, where it can be put to use.

With lots of water, the moon is an ideal place to build structures for space stations, deep space missions, trips to other planets.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #12
23. weeeellll, maybe not "deep space"
Certainly our own system. We'll need either a FTL drive or a generational ship to go into "deep space" ourselves.
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Monk06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
3. Maybe we can move all the Earth's military weapons to the Moon and then

leave them there. They can fight over Moon water
and leave the rest of us alone.
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safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
4. Moon Water,, try it. It's out of this world.
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borelord Donating Member (52 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. Holy shit!
That's awesome!
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appamado amata padam Donating Member (301 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. When they say "lots,"
do they mean enough to get plenty of scientific samples, or, enough to possibly affect the Earth's coming water shortage?

Oh, crap, I can see the marketing schemes now:

"Blast off with a mineral water that is out of this world!"

ugh.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. It would be cheaper to purify the dirtiest Earth-based water than to transport it from the Moon
However, lunar water might be useful for a future moonbase, for instance, as a hydrogen source.
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bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:08 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. earth have a water shortage? thats unpossible.
a shortage of potable water where people can get to it, cheaply. that can become a problem.
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appamado amata padam Donating Member (301 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. that's what I meant: shortage of potable water.
thx.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
7. "Is"? Or "Was"? Because you can leave evidence when you're dead and gone.
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:14 AM
Response to Original message
10. There's lots on Jupiter's moons as well.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:18 AM
Response to Original message
14. water=life
Now we can live there. Excellent.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:28 AM
Original message
Great - we can bottle it and sell it in high end supermarkets.
Make the big bucks!

mark
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:28 AM
Response to Original message
15. Great - we can bottle it and sell it in high end supermarkets.
Make the big bucks!

mark
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
16. I'll believe it when they actually get some.
This water is really ice, so...

"This occurs at any temperature of water between the melting point and the
boiling point -- with more evaporation occurring with a body of water that
has a higher average temperature (that is, closer to the boiling point). It
can even happen below the freezing point (via sublimation -- when water goes
directly from a solid (ice) to water vapor) and this explains why the ice
cubes in your freezer sometimes seem to "evaporate".

All of this is assuming that you are at standard pressure of 1 atmosphere.
As the atmospheric pressure changes, water will boil and freeze at different
temperatures."


>SNIP<



"Evaporation does not have any sharp beginning point.
It just gets slower and slower as the temperature goes down.
Even ice evaporates.
For each 10 degrees C colder, it gets a factor of two or so slower.
Actually, the colder it gets, the more it slows down for each 10 degrees C."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
we are talking a time frame of approximately 4.5 billion years in a vacuum. Water near enough to the surface to be measured? Sure. It must be in the green cheese.
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LunaSea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Oh, it's plenty cold alright!
SETH BORENSTEIN The Associated Press
Updated: 09/18/2009 09:53:23 AM CDT

WASHINGTON-- Astronomers have found the coldest spot in our solar system and it may be a little close for comfort. It's on our moon, right nearby.

NASA's new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is making the first complete temperature map of the moon. It found that at the moon's south pole, it's colder than far away Pluto. The area is inside craters that are permanently shadowed so they never see sun.

"It's sort of like a faint glow and that's your only source of heat," said David Paige, a University of California, Los Angeles, scientist who is part of the NASA team. "Right here in our own backyard are definitely the coldest things we've seen in real measurements."

Temperatures there were measured at 397 degrees below zero. That's just 62 degrees higher than the lowest temperature possible.

Pluto is at least a degree warmer even though it is about 40 times farther away from the sun.

The coldest temperatures on the moon were usually in craters that were within bigger craters, hiding farther from the sun, Paige said. Three craters where the cold temperatures were noted were Faustini, Shoemaker and Haworth. And some of the coldest places are so remote and unexplored they don't even have names yet, he said.

Soon, the moon's south pole will slightly warm up with the change of seasons and the north pole will get chillier, he said.

That ultra-cold temperature is important because it can trap volatile chemicals, such as water and methane, said NASA probe project scientist

Richard Vondrak. Trapped volatiles would give any future astronauts resources to mine and could help scientists understand more about the origin of the early solar system, he said.

The moon probe, only a week into its science mission, has also found lots of indications of hydrogen, which could indicate trapped ice below the moon's surface, Vondrak said.

While NASA has been to the moon with astronauts and explored it many times decades ago, this is the first close-up look in about a decade and is focusing on the tantalizing south pole, where there is the best chance for hidden ice.

"It's unexplored," Paige said. "Nobody's seen what it's like in these areas before at this resolution."

And the closer, NASA's instruments look at the craters, the more nuanced they look.

"The moon is not just a billiard ball with dimples," Paige told The Associated Press. "It's got interesting cracks and crevices."



Is the hydrogen detected in the cold traps in the form of water ice or something more akin to Portland cement?
I have hopes we'll find out for certain this week.

And how difficult might it be to get to? This is an environment where metals become as brittle as glass, and the warmth of even a flashlight will cause such volatiles to cook away.


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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
20. If true, there goes a huge argument to go to Mars. :(
If the moon has water, in quantity (more than say .1% per kg) it becomes economically habitable. One argument I used to use against the moon was that if it didn't have water that was easily extracted, we would be better off setting up a base on Mars with humans (since moon bases can be made with teleoperated robots).
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Phoonzang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. It doesn't ruin the argument to go to Mars,
it hurts the argument that we go to Mars first and bypass the Moon. It also helps NASA's case for an extra 3 billion dollars so we can actually continued manned space flight.
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Concur.
If the Moon has some, enough to be worth extracting, then that's the cheap place to learn how to extract it in advance of an effort to go to Mars. You could conceivably even build a prefab colony on the Moon, tested-for-sure in vacuum, and then take advantage of the lower gravity to launch it all from there to Mars without having to worry about aerodynamics until you get there.

It also makes a great case for an attempt to build a permanent base in both places rather than merely visit.
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Indenturedebtor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. With more samples of moon rock to study we don't need to go to learn to extract
Simply reproduce the samples here and fine tune the machines that will suck it out of the soil.

I really hope that NASA somehow gets the funding it needs to get us set up on the Moon.
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sspeilbergfan90 Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
24. interesting.
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Duer 157099 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
26. I foresee a very long carbon nanotube hanging off the moon
and dribbling water down on the earth.

Or maybe that's a great premise for a sci-fi story.
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