Moon's water could sustain astronauts

London, Oct 22 (ANI): According to NASA, there are oases of water-rich soil on Moon's surface that could sustain astronauts.

"In about a tonne of material... you're talking 11-12 gallons of water that you could extract," the BBC quoted Dr Anthony, Colaprete LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator, as saying.

A lunar probe last year revealed far more water than anyone had imagined.he researchers' analysis suggests some areas of lunar regolith, or soil, must contain as much as 5pc by weight of water-ice.

"And it's in the form of water-ice grains. That's good news because water-ice is very much a friendly resource to work with. You don't have to warm it very much; you just have to bring it up to room temperature to pull it out of the dirt real easy," said Anthony Colaprete, from the US space agency's Ames research centre.

The water-ice is not uniformly distributed across the southern pole but is held in pockets. Some of these oases are, like in Cabeus, to be found in shadows where LRO's Diviner instrument has sensed temperatures down to minus 244C. Under such conditions, ices will stay fixed for billions of years.

"This could facilitate future human and robotic explorers in their quest for understanding of the lunar ice, as well as its potential use as resource; because rather than having to brave the cold and dark conditions inside permanent shadow, they could land much more conventionally in areas where the sunlight is shining - at least for part of the year - and then dig a small distance below the surface and access the ice," said David Paige, Diviner's principal investigator.

The study appears in Science magazine. (ANI)

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