back to article NASA: the Moon is a hydrated mistress

NASA's LCROSS probe has confirmed the presence of water on the lunar surface, including buckets of the stuff in a shadowed crater near the moon's south pole. "Indeed, yes, we found water," said LCROSS principal investigator Anthony Colaprete said during a news conference today at NASA's Ames Research Center. "And we didn't …


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  1. Ned Ludd

    I don't mean to sound negative...

    ...but don't we already have enough water on earth? I mean, really, what would it cost to get one of these 2 gallon buckets back to earth?

  2. Mr Young


    Beer in Space? I suggest we get they nutrients up there right now!

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "We found loads of water in that crater. Unfortunately we vaporised it all."

  4. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Glad to see The Reg is using proper units. I came to, not or some such nonsense!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Jolly good.

    I say, we think that some of the stuff in the dark part of the moon



    for i:= 1 to z do





    might be a few billion years old and we were wondering what to do with it.

    Vye dont vee smasch a meesile in 2 ze meedst ov eet and see wot flize oop yes?

    Dood, that iz soo kool! Yeh, we kin do it, Funding onstreem.

    Boot vot about any posheebl kontanimayshun zat ze strow oop mite makenzee?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ned Ludd

    IIRC, it costs a couple hundred thousand dollars to ship a 1kg mass into space. Given that a 2 gallon (US) bucket of water should weigh 7.57kg, it's rather more expensive than anyone really wants to deal with if possible.

    Presumably, you're not actually interested in shipping water back from the moon.

  7. Pablo

    @ Tom Maddox

    Gallons? You must be kidding me. Let's stick it the standards, OK? That should be 1/660430 Olympic size swimming pools, or 242.26 jubs.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ..more work on the titles please:

    "The Moon's A (water)Balloon"

    "The Dank Side Of The Moon"

    "Bath Moon Rising"

    "Moon Slaker"

    Come on. Our subscription fees arent there just to keep you and your sheltered workshoppers in latte and BMWs! Effort, please!

  9. SpeakerToAliens.
    Thumb Up

    The Ghost of Robert HeinLein

    Please to see the ghost of Robert Heinlein is alive and well at El Reg.

  10. frank ly

    @Ned Ludd re. sounding negative

    I assume your attention span didn't get you as far as the final paragraph?

  11. Scott Broukell

    Bet there's a hosepipe ban though

  12. Winkypop Silver badge

    Darn, it'll be a tough job

    Collecting all those ice chunks after the explosion...

    Astronauts roaming the craters, scotch in hand looking for ice....

  13. LAGMonkey

    Fantastic! but....

    This is really good news!

    However, as this water is now a natural resource on the moon. How long till get get the Gray-brigade (the moon isnt Green now is it? ) telling us that we cant use the natrural resourse as its not sustainable.

    "Leave mother moon alone!" i can hear them cry.

    bloody Graypeace...*mumble*

  14. Geoff Mackenzie

    I like NASA's nod to Oasis

    Definitively likely?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about the moon landings

    I guess earth was extremely lucky that he astronauts didn't drown on previous moon landings. How technology seems to have gone backwards timewise.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Water Conservation

    Google says that the total surface of the moon is 153 million square meters of which 14 thousand square meters is in permanent shadow. So there probably isn't that much moon water that can be easily extracted. Probably best not to squander it.

    Oops - sorry - that should read, in internationally approved El Reg units, 5011.7383 Belgiums and 0.4586 Belgiums respectively (give or take a few milliWales).

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Cost of water to the moon.

    Is currently unknown. Space Adventures (IIRC) are offering a personal lunar flyby at c$20m so assuming a typical Merkin passenger at 100kg (to keep the math simple) that would be $200k/kg.

    However the NASA kids website, explaining the ISS golden show processing system said they put it in because water is roughly $20k/litre.

    The latest copy of Spaceflight has an article on the ESA "Melissa" closed cycle life support project. This gives figures for daily human consumable and estimates a trip to Mars would need about 95tonnes with an open cycle (open, hydrate, crap, dump) system.

    You can guess what's in my pocket.

  18. TrevorPrinn

    @Anonymous Coward

    It's a Robert Heinlein reference, which makes it better than any of yours.

  19. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    at least a dozen 2 gallons buckets ...

    come on is there a reason they didnt just say at least 24 gallons of water? Since when did the standard unit of volume for water become a 2 gallon bucket?

    Walk in to a pub "would you like a pint?" "No i'll have a 15th of a 2 gallon bucket thanks..."

  20. James 55
    Thumb Down

    I wan't to stab my eyes out with a fork

    "compounds they will be analyzing GOING FORWARD"

  21. DJV Silver badge


    Actually, it was a good effort and a nice reference to an old Robert Heinlein book. I will leave you to find the real title for yourself.

  22. andrew mulcock

    Bugs from space

    Now, a few lines of thought here that sort of collide.

    a) NASA is following the rule follow the water to find life in the universe.

    b) NASA came back from the moon and said there was no life.

    c) NASA et all now say moon has water all over it in different amounts.

    d) Apollo equipment et all is covered in this stuff, and is on general display in various places.

    I can remember long cues at the Smithsonian institute Washington to 'touch' a bit of moon rock.

    Does that mean that we have all been exposed to moon bugs in the water they bought back with them ?

    CIA / Black opps , X files on hold here !

  23. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Colour me sceptical...

    but I don't think this is a cause for rejoicing.

    We've always assumed there was SOME water on the Moon - there's SOME everywhere, bound into crystals and the like. What we had hoped for in a shaded crater was sheets of solid water ice. And getting 24 gallons out of a kiloton-sized explosion is a very small amount - you would get more out of the Sahara sand.

    There still might be solid water ice on the Moon, but I don't think we found it with this experiment. And if this is all there is, I suspect we will be hauling water up from Earth for quite a while yet....

  24. Ned Ludd


    "Presumably, you're not actually interested in shipping water back from the moon."

    Obviously not - it's a ridiculous notion... surely some sort of long hose taking advantage of earth's gravitational pull would be much more efficient.

  25. Disco-Legend-Zeke
    Pint long as Wyoming Knott is played by...

    Jane Fonda.

    Well, she was a lot younger when i wanted to make the movie.

    We could have had Ridley Scott, but he is working on the Monopoly (tm) film.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @TrevorPrinn, @DJV

    I must concede - with good grace, but still with regret at the missed opportunity to immortalise the unsung David Niven in the only form worth aspiring to.

  27. Hollerith 1

    One great Heinlein book

    And it would make a dandy movie, a better one than Starship Troopers. As Jane Fonda is now way too old, I could name a few current actresses for Miss Knott, and we have the SFX for a great movie. I want to see boxcars lobbed down to earth!

  28. SirTainleyBarking

    Dr Who?

    After watching the latest episode, I think they should all be drinking the bottled stuff now

  29. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    24 Gallons

    So that 24 gallons more than the ISS with it's broken piss recycler

    I for one welcome our new ice loads, eh.., lords

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rad water

    One should think that the Ice on the moon would be fairly soaked in radiation. Green glowing ice should be easier to spot...

  31. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Ned Ludd

    ".......some sort of long hose taking advantage of earth's gravitational pull would be much more efficient."

    Don't be silly. With that level of siphonic pressure you'd never stop it once started. There'd be a long, loud sucking noise, the moon would shrink and the Earth's water levels would rise dramatically*. The sudden shift in mass between Moon and Earth would destabilise the system causing The End Of The World**.

    *Pissing off the Carbon Cultists who think they have a monopoly on this one.

    **Quite possibly due to some crustal instability CGI bollocks.

  32. bob 53
    Thumb Up

    water on Earth

    Water on Earth is billions of years years old too! After all it's what we started with re-cycled!

  33. Alex 32

    Good news to a point..

    ..but water generally has organisms on it. Where as this could be good news, it could also mean bad. Yes, Dr. W-who was on last night ("Waters of Mars"), but thinking of it rationally, I'm not talking about Alien Posessions et al. I'm more concerned with further organisms that might contaminate our already contaminated water supply here on Earth.

    I say we set up Moon Base Alpha and do tests on it. I vote for being Tony Verdeschi (RIP)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lidditism on hold

    Everyone stop being cynical about another glorious scientific discovery you Luddites.

    I have resolved to be mindlessly positive about everything like that berk that moaned last time.

  35. Graham Bartlett


    "There'd be a long, loud sucking noise"

    So you've heard Lily Allen's latest single then...

  36. Gianni Straniero

    Brain training

    A dozen 7.6 litre buckets in a 20-30m crater. Solve for ppm.

    Volume of a spherical cup (crater) is given by the formula

    V = \frac{2}{3} \pi r^2 h

    where r is the radius of the crater, and h its height. Let r = 10 and h = 6, for a crater formed by a 90 degree impact.

    V = 1,256,637 litres

    ergo this portion of the moon is approx 72 ppm water by volume.

    It seems unlikely, therefore, that the regolith is similar to any kind of cheese known on Earth.

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