back to article Our Moon is wet and welcoming, says excited NASA

The Moon has water in usable amounts in one of its south-polar craters, scientists have announced. The news means that manned Moonbases could potentially be much cheaper to operate than they would otherwise be. Results from NASA's Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Water on the mooon they say?

    This is cause they were told it was there, by our J-rod friend from Zeta Reticulli!

  2. Red Bren

    Space Race II

    Will the threat of the (commie) Chinese setting up a base there spur the US to go back to the moon?

  3. Anonymous John

    There's a mistake in the article.

    "The news means that Chinese manned Moonbases could potentially be much cheaper to operate than they would otherwise be."


    1. Anonymous John

      Is it just me?

      Or can nobody see how many points their own comments have?

      1. Gangsta
        Dead Vulture

        yes I have just noticed it

        it never used to be like this

      2. Wize

        Comments voting

        I can see them on mine.

        It shows up as 'no votes' or '2 thumbs up & 6 thumbs down' rather than the result buttons on everyone else's posts

  4. Gangsta

    Dark Side of the moon?

    I've often heard (on a crazy conspiracy site probably) that the dark side of the moon is habituated with aliens that will one day destroy our world and rule it - in a "take me to your leader", sort of way.

    So water on the moon :O

    1. Cunningly Linguistic

      There is... dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it's all dark.

  5. TylerDurden


    How has no one said anything about the title of this article!!?? All I have to say is awesome!! LOL!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      We need to hump on over.

  6. whats the point of kenny lynch?

    let me guess....

    there's a funding review due for nasa? time to bring up some old theories to get the public's attention eh boys?

    time to get rid of them, ban all space research and spend the money on cheese and sausages.....what's the bloody point..over and out

  7. mhoulden

    But of course

    Where else does the soup dragon get her ingredients from?

  8. captain veg Silver badge

    potential fuel like methane and hydrogen

    > potential fuel like methane and hydrogen

    How's that going to work without oxygen, by hydrolysing the water? That'll need energy. But there's this potential fuel...


    1. Anonymous Coward


      Energie is easy to get on the moon. Just open some solar panels and produce electricity. Fuel, such as you need to lauch a rocket, not as much. So you use the easy to get energie to make the fuel.

    2. John G Imrie

      Energy will be simple.

      Solar power, and what's even better is there is no pesky cloud cover to worry about.

    3. Chris 244

      Missing the point

      Finding the energy to split water isn't the problem, it's shining down from the lunar sky. Alternatively, a small N-plant could be boosted up from Earth. The problem we face in space is getting bulk material (e.g. water, propellant base-stock) up out of the gravity well that is the planet Earth. Finding it on the Moon's surface saves us a lot of trouble.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    This title makes me excited!

    I always get excited when I find a wet and welcoming south crater. Inserting probe in 3...2...1...

  10. gHoTI

    But I thought it was obvious?????

    The moon is made of cheese after all... why am I the only one to not be surprised in any way by the fact that cheese contains water?

  11. solaries
    Big Brother

    water on the moon

    With this news of water and minerals on the moon it will make setting up outpost on the moon easier and save money and increase it usefullness in exploreration of the solar syetem by manned spaceships.

  12. Chris 244

    Light metals like...

    ...mercury? Looked at a periodic table much? Just because NASA makes a bone-headed mistake doesn't mean you have to parrot it.

    1. Jordan Davenport

      I'm glad...

      I wasn't the only one that caught that. Then again, in 1/6 the Earth's gravity, "light" may take on a new definition!

    2. rocketplumber

      Heavy, yet volatile

      True, "Light" was a poor choice of words. The technically correct one would be volatile, in the sense that Mercury has high vapor pressure and easily forms a tenuous gas at lunar surface conditions. The presence of Mercury in the polar deposits is not surprising when you consider the way the volatiles got there, by bouncing one molecule or atom at a time off the hot sunlit surface of the moon until it encountered a cold spot, either on the night side or in a polar crater. Nighside trapping is temporary, lasting only until sunrise- and then off it goes again. Thus, _any_ Mercury _anywhere_ on the surface would finally come to rest in a polar cold trap. Over a few billion years, that will add up...

      I predict that other rare but volatile species will be present in the polar ices, including some metal oxides like OsO4, reduced metals like Zinc or Gallium, and the whole witch's brew of organic compounds in comets and carbonaceous chondrites.

    3. Morrie Wyatt

      Fluorescent lamps?

      Fluorescent lights contain mercury vapour! Whack enough power through the vapour to create a plasma state, then wrap the lot in a suitable fluorescent powder to react to the UV from the plasma and there's your light! (Or do without the powder if you want a nasty tan.)

      (Don't you just love the vagaries of the English language?)

  13. Tasogare
    Thumb Up

    This is actually the best news I've heard out of the space program in a while...

    I'd be much less bitter about paying my taxes if the part of it that went to, say, corporate welfare went to colonizing the moon instead. This will make it cheaper, and the distances involved are a hell of a lot easier to work with than Mars. (and a moonbase would make jumping off into the rest of the solar system considerably easier, I think) As such, excellent news.

    Shame the moon program is dead for the moment. I'd love to get off this rock.

    1. Steve Roper
      Thumb Up

      Wouldn't help

      The reason you want to get off this rock is the same as mine - it's not the planet, it's the human shitbags living on it, that you want to get away from, right? Unfortunately, going to the moon won't solve your problem - because there will be humans of all kinds accompanying you there, and so all the shit will be there too.

      What we really want when we say "stop the world, I want to get off" is to be able to get on a colony ship outward bound to another Earthlike planet, to be populated only with such humans as agree with our views on life. In my case, that would be a ship with no religious believers, no feminists, no control freaks, no do-gooders/soccer moms, and nobody with an IQ less than 110, among other traits. I could probably scour the whole Earth and its 7 billion humans for suitable colonists and find maybe 100 or so fit to go with me. I'll assume you're one of them! ;)

      1. CADmonkey

        I'll be there... wave you off!

        Good riddance, you miserable bollocks!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        suitable colonists

        On your criteria, what if the suitable colonists are all as ugly, as hell. You may find staying with the Human shitbags might not be so bad after all.

      3. Al fazed


        give my seat to one of your mates with a lower IQ.


  14. BozNZ


    Plenty of water on earth, why dont they try landing something in the sahara desert and seeing how it all works first?

  15. tom 24

    Epic subtitle

    "Moist Bonanza"?! You know that from now on whenever I look at the moon, I'm going to think of that and feel dirty.

    Beer because it's friday and MAN has it been a long week. Again.

  16. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    The elements found

    Make it sound almost like Perrier, ready for export. Though the presence of ammonia would make it piss poor...

  17. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Hauling water up from earth???

    Um... why?

    There's more water on Ceres than in all of the earth's oceans. All you need is an appropriate asteroid to mine. No gravity well to speak of.

    (For shits and giggles, what happens if Ceres managed to crash into earth? Or Venus?)

  18. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    NASA Astonauts will have to learn a new language.

    Mandarin is the official language but for asking "Can I have egg fried rice and extra crackers with that" they'll need Cantonese.

    Mine would be the one with a copy of the Sea Dragon plans in the side pocket.

  19. Anonymous Coward


    It is 2010. Where is my flying car?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    H2o IS Water, do you mean REAL H2o or one of the other hydrogen and oxygen family

    ""NASA has convincingly confirmed the presence of water ice and characterized its patchy distribution in permanently shadowed regions of the moon.""

    it really pisses me off when these and the indeed the TV science editors say they found or likely to find the presence of water ice.

    if you mean H2o then say H2o, if not then say whatever the periodic table designates it to be and even spell it out ,dont dumb it down , hell "water like substance," would be an improvement

    H2o IS water, do you mean the REAL H2o Water_molecule

    or one of the other hydrogen and oxygen family

  21. Anonymous Coward

    if they said H3O found on the moon , that would be more believable than water...

    if they said H3O found on the moon , that would be more believable than water... although of course you can get HO (Hydroxide)and real water H2O from that Hydronium OC all over interstellar space

    "Interstellar H3O+

    [edit]Motivation for study

    Hydronium is an abundant molecular ion in the interstellar medium and is found in diffuse[15] and dense[16] molecular clouds as well as the plasma tails of comets.[17] Interstellar sources of hydronium observations include the regions of Sagittarius B2, Orion OMC-1, Orion BN–IRc2, Orion KL, and the comet Hale-Bopp.

    Interstellar hydronium is formed by a chain of reactions started by the ionization of H2 into H



    by cosmic radiation.[18] H3O+ can produce either OH− or H2O through dissociative recombination reactions, which occur very quickly even at the low (≥10 K) temperatures of dense clouds.[19] This leads to hydronium playing a very important role in interstellar ion-neutral chemistry.

    Astronomers are especially interested in determining the abundance of water in various interstellar climates due to its key role in the cooling of dense molecular gases through radiative processes.[20] However, H2O does not have many favorable transitions for ground based observations.[21] Although observations of HDO (the deuterated version of water[22]) could potentially be used for estimating H2O abundances, the ratio of HDO to H2O is not known very accurately.[21]

    Hydronium, on the other hand, has several transitions that make it a superior candidate for detection and identification in a variety of situations.[21] This information has been used in conjunction with laboratory measurements of the branching ratios of the various H3O+ dissociative recombination reactions[19] to provide what are believed to be relatively accurate OH− and H2O abundances without requiring direct observation of these species.

    Interstellar chemistry...."

    "The universal aqueous acid-base definition of the Arrhenius concept is described as the formation of water from hydrogen and hydroxide ions, or hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions from the dissociation of an acid and base in aqueous solution:

    H+ (aq) + OH− (aq) H2O

    (In modern times, the use of H+ is regarded as a shorthand for H3O+, since it is now known that the bare proton H+ does not exist as a free species in solution.)

    This leads to the definition that in Arrhenius acid-base reactions, a salt and water is formed from the reaction between an acid and a base.[6] In other words, this is a neutralization reaction.

    acid+ + base− → salt + water

    The positive ion from a base forms a salt with the negative ion from an acid. For example, two moles of the base sodium hydroxide (NaOH) can combine with one mole of sulfuric acid (H2SO4) to form two moles of water and one mole of sodium sulfate.

    2 NaOH + H2SO4 → 2 H2O + Na2SO4"

    dont go putting this "salt" and "water" in a pan to cook your moon food though ;)

    Thats sodium sulfate salt NOT Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt, or halite, is an ionic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms. As the major ingredient in edible salt, it is commonly used as a condiment and food preservative.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Water on the moon?

    Or just discarded urine bags from Apollo ???

  23. bugalugs

    The ..... .. ......., ... ... ...... ....... .../.. digits.

    " About 20 per cent of the plume was made up of volatiles

    including methane, ammonia, hydrogen gas, carbon dioxide

    and carbon monoxide. "

    So the moon is made of really early earthy-stuff ?

    Perhaps only its inability to retain an atmosphere

    arrested the development of some form of life.

    As we know it...

  24. Al fazed

    Ya Hay

    Now we can totally fuck up the moon !


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