NASA announced the discovery of water on the Moon today. The recent LCROSS probe impacting the lunar surface provided the space agency with data revealing not only the presence of water, but according to the reports, a great deal of it. The impact plume created by LCROSS’s surface impact stirred up what lead scientist Anthony Colaprete described as; “a significant amount,” meaning more than residual amounts. Will NASA’s exploration plans now hold water?
Scientists have suspected the existence of water, not only on the surface of the moon, but on other planets in our solar system. As for the “impact even”, the projected 6 mile high plume which observers were supposed to be able to witness, turned out to be a dud visually and as a PR event. Many were disappointed that NASA did not provide more fireworks. But this latest news not only makes NASA and the quest to explore further more credible. In fact, this was really the main purpose of these missions, to establish the viability of exploring the solar system. Another manned mission is planned for the moon in 2020.
In an interesting take on all this, Buzz Adrin, who walked on the moon in 1969, said he was thrilled at the success of the mission. Aldrin has always been a proponent of colonizing Mars. NASA is obviously jubilant over the discover, but some question the real value in spending millions to find out what is theoretically already known. Below mission experts cheer as LCROSS separation stage is successful.
The announcement of the discovery, as well as an explanation of the mission’s significance. Just how much credibility this gives NASA is in the opinions of the public however. In this writer’s opinion, they are going to have to discover a lot more than water to spur space exploration further. The discovery is exciting from a purely scientific perspective. Buzz Aldrin was correct in his assessment too, in that we should probably have already landed on Mars.