VIPER on the prowl.
Credit: NASA

 

NASA’s go-getting Artemis plan for returning humans to Earth’s Moon in 2024, as well as kick-off an era of sustainable lunar operations, calls for resource extraction and utilization. Turning on the tap of lunar water ice is viewed by many as the elixir of life to support human outposts. This extraterrestrial supply can be altered into oxygen, drinking water, even rocket fuel.

A Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) will be a human-rated, unpressurized (unenclosed) rover that will be used to help astronauts explore and conduct experiments at the lunar South Pole.

Although water ice has been detected at the Moon’s poles, there remains a paucity of in-depth scientific information to truly tag the Moon as a water-rich world. Then there is the irksome question of “economically” extracting that resource – if present and accounted for in the first place. So there are major fundamental unknowns.

Go to my new Scientific American story, NASA’s Hunt for Lunar Water Intensifies, at:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nasas-hunt-for-lunar-water-intensifies/

One Response to “All Wet Moonshots? Looking for Lunar Water – No Slam Dunk”

  • Kieran A. Carroll says:

    Leonard;

    I just read your Scientific American article. Very nice! Good to have space content in SciAm from someone who’s so deeply knowledgeable about what’s going on in current space activities around the world, as well as what has gone on in past years…

    – Kieran

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