News of the WeekPlanetary Science

Yes, There's Ice on the Moon—But How Much, and What Use Is It?

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Science  20 Nov 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5956, pp. 1046
DOI: 10.1126/science.326.5956.1046-a

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When a spent rocket booster slammed into the frigid, inky shadow of a lunar crater last month, it sent up a slightly damp plume of dust, scientists with NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission reported last week. After several decades of controversy, scientists now know that over billions of years, water can collect as ice in some of the coldest places in the solar system. Whether there's enough lunar water ice for future astronauts to drink or turn into rocket fuel, however, remains to be seen.