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Water found on the Moon

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:32 pm
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Water found on the Moon 
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Post Water found on the Moon   Posted on: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:32 pm
Just seeing that there are a lot of sources saying water has been found on the moon.

News Scientist:

WE THOUGHT it was dry as a bone, but now it seems the moon's parched surface has water hidden beneath it.

Alberto Saal of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and colleagues re-examined lunar volcanic rocks collected in the 1970s during the Apollo 15 and 17 missions. They found up to 50 parts per million of water trapped in tiny spheres of volcanic glass.

That's not much compared with the 500 to 1000 ppm of water in Earth's mantle. Yet when the lava erupted some 3 billion years ago it was exceedingly hot - perhaps up to 7000 °C - so most of the water initially present would have diffused out of the magma, leaving only a small amount by the time it cooled.

To find out how much water was in the magma, Saal's team measured its concentration - as well as volatile chemicals such as chlorine - at the core of the glass spherules and compared them with levels at the outer edge to work out how fast each was lost.

They concluded the moon's mantle has between 260 and 700 ppm of water. "This is very surprising, because for 40 years people have studied lunar rocks and no one found any water," says Saal. "We got lucky."
Saal cautions that future crewed missions will not be able to wring any water out of the rocks. There is, however, a slim chance that the vapour has accumulated in ice somewhere on the moon's surface.


Image

Just wandering what this will mean and if there will be any implications. Interesting! Anyone else have any thoughts?

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:54 pm
Same as always really: We know there's water on the moon, but not whether it exists in sufficient concentrations to be worthwhile to extract.

Of course, there have long been indications that there might water hidden somewhere, and this is yet another one - we just have yet to find any. Lots of moon left to search though..


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:46 pm
The best chance for finding large quantities of water on the moon (other than comets that splattered themselves at its poles), might be similar to petrolium deposits on Earth. As the Moon cooled and differntiated in the late bombarment period, hopfully the lava that formed the mare or other impermiable rock formed domes that blocked the water from the interior from percolating up and out of the moon. Hopefully its still there in underground pockets.

Crushing rock for parts per billion of water isn't practical unless its a by-product of some other process (H3, metals, or other minerals).


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:45 am
JamesG wrote:
The best chance for finding large quantities of water on the moon (other than comets that splattered themselves at its poles), might be similar to petrolium deposits on Earth. As the Moon cooled and differntiated in the late bombarment period, hopfully the lava that formed the mare or other impermiable rock formed domes that blocked the water from the interior from percolating up and out of the moon. Hopefully its still there in underground pockets.

Crushing rock for parts per billion of water isn't practical unless its a by-product of some other process (H3, metals, or other minerals).


No, the best chance for finding water on the moon is the LCROSS mission being launched late this year.

Emory Stagmer
Project Software Lead, NASA's LCROSS mission


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:43 am
If crushing rocks is practical or not seems to depend on the amount rocks suspicious to contain water o be found close to each other. öperhaps simply a larger chamber is required

Another aspect is that the rocks containing water may contain other interesting elements and chemicals also.

So if rocks are crashed or mined for any reason urgently look for water contained too and keep it, store it, gather it since water is that scarce on the Moon.



What about it?



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


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:48 am
VAXHeadroom wrote:
No, the best chance for finding water on the moon is the LCROSS mission being launched late this year.


Kind of like shooting at a barn with one small target somewhere inside it and hoping for a hit eh?

My point is, that there is a higher probably of subterranean deposits of actual water instead of on the radiation blasted and baked surface, where the "water" is microscopic traces or separate hydrogen and oxygen that must be coaxed out of stone by cost/time/energy expensive means.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:52 am
Hello, JamesG,

please think of how and where the most recent detection of water on Mars happened - in a cold region just beneath the dust/soil/dirt.

Since is no lander on the Moon at its South Pole that might dig into the lunar dust/soil/dirt to perhaps find water ice just beneath it LCROSS is the only chance at present.

And even there were such a lander it would have to do more than Phoenix to confirm if water ice has been found - on Mars the water ice was exposed to sunlight and could sublime to be identified as water ice while the region at the lunar South Pole suspected to contain water ice never is exposed to sunlight.

So VAXHeadroom is right in so far.

But you both seems to be talking about different things. While VAXHeadroom seems to talk about the chance to detect water at all you seem to talk about the chances of large quantities.

What might be the best ways or the best technologies to get the water i it is really there and contained by the lava? I suppose innovations and inventions to be required to some degree - what properties would they have to have?



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


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Post    Posted on: Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:42 pm
Well I wasn't slamming the LCROSS mission. In fact I am all for it. And yes, we are talking about two completely different things.

Mars and the Moon are two completely different environments. Just about everything about them is different in detail. Atmosphere, geology, chemistry etc. Even the difference in their gravities and distance from the sun are likely to have profound differences in their character.

Thus far we have literally only scratched the surface of either world.


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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:25 am
JamesG wrote:
Well I wasn't slamming the LCROSS mission. In fact I am all for it. And yes, we are talking about two completely different things.

Mars and the Moon are two completely different environments. Just about everything about them is different in detail. Atmosphere, geology, chemistry etc. Even the difference in their gravities and distance from the sun are likely to have profound differences in their character.

Thus far we have literally only scratched the surface of either world.


I was just making people aware that we're going there this year to try to find water. The big plume from the Centaur impact should kick up about 2 million pounds of regolith 30km high. The hole we're making should be 18ft deep by 100ft long. The plume will hit the sunlight about 2km from the bottom of the crater and any volatiles will vaporize and be able to be measured by mass spectrometers on the Shepherding Spacecraft(SSC) (what we're building), Hubble, and every asset on the ground that can see the moon ;) That's certainly deeper than anything else we ever come close to excavating!! It would take Phoenix quite a while to dig 18ft deep :lol:


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