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Possibly no or very little water ice on the moon

Posted by: Stefan Sigwarth - Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:13 am
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Possibly no or very little water ice on the moon 
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Post Possibly no or very little water ice on the moon   Posted on: Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:13 am
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0 ... water.html

That sounds pretty depressing if you ask me. I'd say we could forget a flourishing mooncolony then. I hope they are bright enough to get some asteroid missions going since those are the ones that are easier to get to (so i've read) and easier to get away from.

How about you guys? Think we should abandon the moon and go for an all out assualt on all the near earth objects?


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:32 am
What about trying to change the course of an asteroid so that it impacts the moon. If one could be located that mainly constisted of ice then it could be diverted using a relatively small rocket (I think an ion engine would be out of the question for any reasonable sized asteroid). A small push in the right direction might be enough to send towards the moon, it ould not matter to much if the journey took a couple of years or even decades.

This has the advantage of moving the ice to where its wanted for a moon base without a complicated transport system and only having the refining done on the moon rather than at numerous asteroids.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:39 am
Andy Hill wrote:
This has the advantage of moving the ice to where its wanted for a moon base without a complicated transport system and only having the refining done on the moon rather than at numerous asteroids.


True, but from what i've read is that because of the low delta v to get to these asteroids, its far more cost-effective then even go to the moon. So it's not economicall to go to the asteroid, nudge it onto/into the moon and the go to the moon. That makes no sense at all for me. Wouldn't it be more practical to have an infrastructure of space stations in space withouth having to land on a heavy gravity body, like the moon. That would mean you'd only need to do the costly liftoff once.

BUt what would actually be the benefits of a base on the moon? Except for the experience of course.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:19 am
I am not sure if the news is a reason to say already that there is no ice and no hydrogen on the Moon - there will be a close investigative look by a probe and another intended impact.

And it is a scientific issue - done according to the principle of science to doubt, doubt and doubt again until the doubts are faced to evidence. The scientists are doing right - but it should be taken as a warning to be not too sure.

May be that unexpectedly hints to water are found elsewhere on the Moon.

And not to forget that Smart-1 recently detected elements on the Moon never found before - sodium and magnesium.


What about this view on it?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

EDIT: When I wrote this post I only had read the german news. The english news under www.space.com make me think that it might be of meaning that the scientists are doubting the existence of ice merely but seem to not doubt that much the possibility that hydrogen is buried.

This hydrogen still can be used to create water by combining it to the oxygen bound in the lunar regolith or to use it as propellant directly.

Hello, Andy Hill,

the article mentions that water seems to have been found on Mercury - so this might be one of the sources you mentioned: collecting or "mining" the water ice located on Mercury and carrying it to the Moon. And mercury is not that much larger than the Moon...


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Post    Posted on: Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:06 pm
Once again wishful thinking hits hard reality. Since the 1960’s it has been theorized that water could exist on the Moon, so when Clementine detected increased hydrogen near the poles the wishful thinkers jumped to conclusions of abundant ice just waiting to be scooped up. But they neglected the weakness of the signal because it did not support their idea of water on the Moon. Since there is almost no hydrogen on the Moon in any form, it only takes a microscopic amount to make a clear but weak signal. At this point I would be surprised if there were exploitable amounts of hydrogen anywhere on the Moon, even in forms other than water. By exploitable amounts, I mean amounts that make it easier to get it on the Moon than to bring it up from Earth.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:50 am
Hello, Andy Hill,

in between I also remeber having read that there is a scientist who considered a cruel but perhaps working idea of how to provide water on the Moon regradless of there being lunar ice or hydrogen or not. That scientist is working on the thought to simply let crash blocks of ice onto the Moon - I will look for the according article.

The more interesting source a thread about I remebr also is the asteroid Ceres - it's supposed to have huge amounts of water. In so far your solution is no problem since Ceres is much smaller than the Moon and the water there can be supposed to be ice. It will take more time simply.

But one circumstance is speaking against the idea to take water from planets like Ceres, the jovian or saturnian Moons and to prefer small bodies if possible: they might harbour life or might be places that could be inhabited by humans somehow in the future - subsea or subsurface for example.

But there seems to be no reason to give up the lunar part of NASA's concept for the Bush-plan.

And I might take the expressed doubts as a reason to enhance the considerations I am posting in the Financial Barriers section - simply to broaden the horizon(s) there.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 20, 2006 9:49 pm
G'day,

The new findings show no water on the Moon , not no hydogen. The discovery of hydrogen by the Prospector spacecraft still stands. Theres plenty of oxygen in the lunar regolith which can be burnt with the hydogen to produce water.

ta

Ralph



Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
Hello, Andy Hill,

in between I also remeber having read that there is a scientist who considered a cruel but perhaps working idea of how to provide water on the Moon regradless of there being lunar ice or hydrogen or not. That scientist is working on the thought to simply let crash blocks of ice onto the Moon - I will look for the according article.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Oct 24, 2006 3:56 am
I suppose the question now is "How do we find out the concentration and form of the hyrdogen in the lunar soil?" Both of those things are very important to know before one plans a ISRU-dependent Moon mission.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:36 am
There really seem to be ways out of the possible problem thought about. The article "Moon's Magnetic Umbrella Seen as Safe Haven for Explorers" ( www.space.com/scienceastronomy/061114_reiner_gamma.html ) says [quote]“This would concentrate solar wind hydrogen and helium-3 locally which might be beneficial to increase the efficiency of mining these for resource applications,â€


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Post    Posted on: Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:35 am
There's bound to be some water on the moon. Our solar system has huge numbers of orbiting asteroids, comet & fragments, some of which is water or has a high water content.

The moon get hit by this stuff, a lot. You just have to look at it to see the effects. The earth gets hit more, but it mainly vapourizes in the upper atmosphere. Yet it is still relatively easy to find meteor fragments on the ground, despite the constant re-surfacing of the Earth due to weather & plate tectonics.

The moon's lower gravity allows for some impacts to occur at relatively low velocities. It's quite possible that some ice meteors have just buried themselves a few metres underground. On Earth, the big nickel deposits, are old meteor impact sites.

The only way to know for sure, is to go there and have a look around. There is a surface area equivalent to Europe & Asia combined, so who knows what might be found?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:00 am
The Apollo astronauts did go there and look around, and there was no water. A more complete search would be a good thing, but we know for sure that there is no water in 6 out of 6 places on the Moon.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:36 am
You've got to be kidding!

12 guys spent a few days total on the moon. All close to the equator in the same hemishere. In clumsy pressure suits with very little equipment. And only one of them was a geologist. A handful of drill samples down to 4.6 m.

That's your evidence for no water?

We know that there cannot be any free water exposed to the near vacuum and high temperatures of the lunar day. The Apollo astronauts had no chance to look in other places. If they had spent that time in Saudi Arabia, they would have said there was no oil.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:50 am
Interestingly, the moon's atmosphere contains about 700 kg of H2 at any time, constantly losing it as it escapes, while being replenished by the solar wind. ( There's also about 1600 kg og Helium, 8000 kg of Neon & 12000 kg of argon, plus small amounts of other stuff)

That's enough H2 to make 6 tonnes of water, right there. If you could capture it. :wink: Probably would replenish in a few months too.


Note: The various US & Russian moon missions, increased the density of the moon's atmosphere by 30%. After a few years it returned to normal.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:12 pm
Yes, 12 guys in 6 places is my evidence. It is not much, but what there is all points the same way; dry. Wishful thinking will not make the Moon have water any more than it made Venus have water or Mars have a thicker atmosphere with oxygen in it, both of which were at least as credible in their day as water on the Moon is today.

Interestingly, Seawater contains vast quantities of dissolved gold, though in dilute concentrations. When I first learned about that 35 years ago, I wondered why nobody had tried to extract it. Obviously if it could be done, some greedy people would have done it. Even if it was really hard to do, lots of greedy people should have already blown fortunes trying to extract it. Maybe they have and we have just not heard about it. But what I don't want to see is NASA blowing fortunes trying to do the equivalent of extracting gold from sea water.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:55 pm
campbelp2002 wrote:
Interestingly, Seawater contains vast quantities of dissolved gold, though in dilute concentrations. When I first learned about that 35 years ago, I wondered why nobody had tried to extract it. Obviously if it could be done, some greedy people would have done it. Even if it was really hard to do, lots of greedy people should have already blown fortunes trying to extract it. Maybe they have and we have just not heard about it. But what I don't want to see is NASA blowing fortunes trying to do the equivalent of extracting gold from sea water.


If energy were cheap enough it would be very feasible to pull all the gold one could want to out of seawater.

Heh, wouldn't that just piss off the dumbasses who "invest" in gold...

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