From the perspective of the future space colonies, the Moon might be a more resourceful space object than previously believed. And that because the Moon’s south pole might house more fresh water than the scientists have previously thought.
Well, unluckily, India’s Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission was a failure, as the Indians lost contact with their lunar probe, designed to land on the Moon’s south pole. Fortunately, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is still there, orbiting our natural satellite and taking images with it to help scientists better understand the Moon.
Now, the primary task for researchers is to find out how the ice water formed in the Moon’s craters. Since our satellite has no atmosphere, and meteorites and other space rocks frequently impact it, the scientists need to understand the lunar history before establishing space colonies on the Moon. Also, they have the job to find on-site resources that Moon colonists can use for daily operations on the Earth’s natural satellite.
The Moon’s South Pole Might Hold More Fresh Water Than Previously Believed
“The ages of these deposits can potentially tell us something about the origin of the ice, which helps us understand the sources and distribution of water in the inner solar system. For exploration purposes, we need to understand the lateral and vertical distributions of these deposits to figure out how best to access them. These distributions evolve with time, so having an idea of the age is important,” explained Ariel Deutsch from Brown University.
The scientists can estimate the age of the ice water at the Moon’s south pole by studying how old are the craters themselves. As it seems, the craters are about 3.1 billion years old. Accordingly, the water on the Moon might have the same age. But the water on the Moon came from comets and asteroids, so it might be “younger” than previously believed.
“When we think about sending humans back to the Moon for long-term exploration, we need to know what resources are there that we can count on, and we currently don’t know. Studies like this one help us make predictions about where we need to go to answer those questions,” a co-author of the study added.