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Water on the Moon?

Posted by: sanman - Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:06 pm
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Water on the Moon? 
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Post Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:06 pm
NASA's LRO seems to be sending back readings that indicate large quantities of hydrogen.

http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090918/ ... 9.931.html

What are the opinions? Is this really hydrogen, and is it most likely to be in the form of water/ice?

What other forms could the hydrogen be in? What types of measurements would best tell for sure whether the hydrogen is water, or whether it's something else?


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:38 pm
Significant science info at http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov
We'll get some 'ground truth' on Oct 9!!

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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:13 pm
Apparently there has been an early news leak.

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0 ... overy.html

By my understanding, approx 0.1% water in lunar regolith. Big news if it's true.

johno


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:27 am
I read an estimate of 48 oz of water per ton of regolith. Apparently, that's the average for most of the surface of Moon above 10° latitude, with the concentration increasing towards the poles. Another explanation for the hydrogen signature is that this is hydroxyl, one atom of hydrogen with one atom of oxygen.


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:09 pm
*drools* Water...

If Halo fuel works out, then that's a storable fuiel combination that can be made completely Lunar ISRU, since the ingrediants - Aluminum, Hydrogen, and Oxygen - are readily available on Luna.

If enough Carbon and Nitrogen (which may exist on Luna from cometry sources) can be got, a colony can be made self sustaining.

I'd love to see Zubrins face when he found out about this Lunar water... 8)


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:27 pm
Terraformer wrote:
*drools* Water...

If Halo fuel works out, then that's a storable fuiel combination that can be made completely Lunar ISRU, since the ingrediants - Aluminum, Hydrogen, and Oxygen - are readily available on Luna.

If enough Carbon and Nitrogen (which may exist on Luna from cometry sources) can be got, a colony can be made self sustaining.

I'd love to see Zubrins face when he found out about this Lunar water... 8)


Well iirc, Robert Zubrin was the guy who came up with the whole idea of ISRU. After all the other people who colonized the islands and continents of the planet of course. But off-planet ISRU is pretty much his brainchild. I'd expect he'll have his hands full helping people to design ISRU equipment for the moon if there is going to be a effort to go in that direction.

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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:52 pm
If the impact Hypothesis is right, could Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide have been delivered by the same means, and migrated as well to the craters?


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:31 pm
Terraformer wrote:
If the impact Hypothesis is right, could Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide have been delivered by the same means, and migrated as well to the craters?

I would think that any talk of what could have happened would be mostly open speculation. For a long time, scientists thought that free water (as opposed to chemically-bound water) could not exist on Moon, as it should all have sublimated away. Now, they think that isn't so. Even so, water is different from ammonia (NH3) or CO2, in that it remains a liquid at a higher temperature and lower pressure than a substance of its chemical weight should. Water on Earth should mostly be vapor, like NH3 or CO2, instead of forming liquid oceans. So, if free water is barely present on Moon, it is less likely that NH3 or CO2 would be present.


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:25 pm
Building equipment to extract water on the moon will have a spin off on Earth where cheap derivatives of very expensive lunar equipment may end up being developed for use in arid areas where water is scarce.

I think that this discovery will mean that people who thought that the moon was a barren landscape with nothing to offer might have to reconsider. With the hopeful discovery of ice in shielded lunar craters meaning an even easier source of water/oxygen a lunar outpost would seem more likely.

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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:18 pm
We still need to import Cyanide (C-N). Will LCROSS be able to tell the difference between Hydrogen lines caused by Ammonia, Methane, and Water?

I'm praying that there's abundant water, CO2 and Ammonia in the craters for a mirror t Terraform the place.


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:53 am
even if LCROSS itself can't distinguish those lines (which i'm sure it can), HST keck etc will all have spectroscopic capabilities and we'll learn what's there and what's not (to within a small amount of uncertainty due to the sublimation process). i personally am trying to do some spectroscopy on the plume from the observatory here at cornell for a class project. i hope to detect water, but the sky will be light so there's some uncertainty as to whether or not i'll be able to get a clear spectra or even see it (magnitude 4-6 likely). also it'll be a miracle if there's a clear sky in ithaca :roll:

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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:52 am
TerraMrs wrote:
even if LCROSS itself can't distinguish those lines (which i'm sure it can), HST keck etc will all have spectroscopic capabilities


I read once that HST cannot be used for Moon observations, though I vaguely recall that it was, once.

How do you account for the fact that previous missions have failed to detect any trace of water on Moon?

I have this nagging suspicion that no one will pick up a conclusive signal for water this time, either.


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:35 pm
They discovered Hydrogen. Besides, they haven't used impactors before.


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:01 pm
Terraformer wrote:
They discovered Hydrogen. Besides, they haven't used impactors before.


They have used impactors before. Smart-1 impacted and other space craft. LCROSS's impactor is not a specifically designed impactor but the second stage to the rocket.

So to say they have not used impactors on the moon is not correct.


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Post Re: Water on the Moon?   Posted on: Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:05 pm
Pooua wrote:

How do you account for the fact that previous missions have failed to detect any trace of water on Moon?



This recent discovery was as a result of studying the data from several missions. The analysis of the data takes a long time.

So in a sense, previous missions did not fail to detect water. Lunar prospector detected hint of water by detecting hydrogen several years ago.


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