US space agency NASA has confirmed the discovery of water on the Moon. Water has been confirmed to be present on a sunlit surface of the moon for the first time.
The major announcement “contributes to Nasa’s efforts to learn about the Moon in support of deep space exploration.”
A live stream of the event will appear on NASA’s YouTube channel, which is available on this page.
The discovery of water on the Moon is a believed to be significant boost for planned missions to the Moon, Mars and even beyond
Paul Hayne, assistant professor in the laboratory of atmospheric and space physics at University of Colorado Boulder, said in a statement: “Water is going to be more accessible for drinking water, for rocket fuel, everything that Nasa needs water for.”
NASA said in a statement at 4pm GMT: The unambiguous detection of molecular water (H2O) on the Moon and areas on the Moon where water could be trapped stably are reported in two papers published this week in Nature Astronomy.
“These findings may have implications for future missions to the Moon.
NASA head tweeted: “We confirmed water on the sunlit surface of the Moon for the 1st time using @SOFIAtelescope.
“We don’t know yet if we can use it as a resource, but learning about water on the Moon is key for our #Artemis exploration plans.”
Last month, Japan’s space agency JAXA last month announced it would power its space exploration missions with hydrogen extracted from water deposits on the Moon.
The agency revealed it would be cheaper to generate fuel on the Moon than to transport it from Earth.
Such a process to create hydrogen fuel could be powered using solar cells.
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia) was used in the research leading to today’s landmark announcement
Although it resembles a Boeing 747 passenger plane, this cutting-edge piece of equipment actually holds millions of dollars worth of telescopes and other scientific equipment.
“Flying above 99 percent of the atmosphere’s obscuring water vapor, SOFIA observes in infrared wavelengths and can detect phenomena impossible to see with visible light.
NASA said in a statement: “As the world’s largest airborne observatory, Sofia is a modified 747 that flies high in the atmosphere to provide its nearly 9-foot telescope with a clear view of the universe and objects in our solar system.