- Jul 6, 2010
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Moon crater hasThe Moon, at least at the bottom of a deep, dark cold crater near its south pole, seems to be wetter than the Sahara, scientists reported on Friday.
In lunar terms, that is an oasis, surprisingly wet for a place that had long been thought by many planetary scientists to be utterly dry.
If astronauts were to visit this crater, they might be able to use eight wheelbarrows of soil to melt 10 to 13 gallons of water. The water, if purified, could be used for drinking, or broken apart into hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel — to get home or travel to Mars.
“That is a very valuable resource,” said Dr Anthony Colaprete, principal investigator of Nasa’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite — or Lcross, which made the observations. “This is wetter than some places on earth.” In the lunar crater, which lies in perpetual darkness, the water is in the form of almost pure ice grains mixed in with the rest of the soil, and is easy to extract.