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Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:04 pm
by smeggypants
Loadsa water on the Moon!

Billions of tons of water has been found on the moon. By the Indians no less.

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"Loadsa water but as yet no meerkats"
A surprising amount of water has been found to exist in the Moon's soil.

Data from three spacecraft, including India's Chandrayaan probe, shows that very fine films of H2O coat the particles that make up the lunar dirt.

The quantity is tiny but could become a useful resource for astronauts wishing to live on the Moon, scientists say.

"If you had a cubic metre of lunar soil, you could squeeze it and get out a litre of water," explained US moon researcher Larry Taylor.

The rock and soil samples returned by the Apollo missions were found to be ever so slightly "damp" when examined in the laboratory, but scientists could never rule out the possibility that the water in the samples got in only after they were hauled back to Earth.

The only safe scientific conclusion they could draw at the time was that the lunar surface was all but bone dry.

Now a remote sensing instrument on Chandrayaan-1, India's first mission to lunar orbit, has confirmed that there is a real H2O signal at the Moon.

Two other satellites to look at the Moon - the US Deep Impact probe and the US-European Cassini spacecraft - back up Chandrayaan.

Both collected their Moon data long before Chandrayaan was even launched (in the case of Cassini, 10 years ago), but the significance of what they saw is only now being realised.

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:18 pm
by Channel Hopper
With an unlimited supply of solar energy on the moon, the next step will be generating oxygen (and hydrogen) from that water.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 102555.htm

I've got a feeling the US knew the possibility of liquid on the moon all along.

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:23 pm
by smeggypants
I guess the gravity on the moon isn't strong enough to hold down an atmosphere? or is it?

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:32 pm
by Channel Hopper
If the water hasn't evaporated out into the vacuum of space, then gravity must be able to keep down some atmosphere, but it certainly won't be anything that can be useful to humans.

Storage of what can be taken from the rocks will be necessary, the amount of sunlight and the ability to fabricate solar energy panels from raw material (or some device that offers an alternative to electrolysis) is what will determine how viable the moon is for colonisation, or used as a launch pad for another planet.

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:44 pm
by smeggypants
Channel Hopper wrote:If the water hasn't evaporated out into the vacuum of space, then gravity must be able to keep down some atmosphere, but it certainly won't be anything that can be useful to humans.


tahts' what I thought. I would imagine the Moon doesn't have a magnetic field to protect it from the sun's radiation either. Even if ti did sustain an atmosphere I doubt anyone could romp around in swimsuits for long :)

Storage of what can be taken from the rocks will be necessary, the amount of sunlight and the ability to fabricate solar energy panels from raw material (or some device that offers an alternative to electrolysis) is what will determine how viable the moon is for colonisation, or used as a launch pad for another planet.


The low gravity would enable it to be a very efficient launch pad

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:57 pm
by Channel Hopper
smeggypants wrote:tahts' what I thought. I would imagine the Moon doesn't have a magnetic field to protect it from the sun's radiation either. Even if ti did sustain an atmosphere I doubt anyone could romp around in swimsuits for long :)



The problem increases with the moonrock itself. Abrasive, intrusive and alkaline, the surface rock would very quickly destroy any structure/mechanism that has moving parts.

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/surface/c ... _soils.pdf


So, airlocks, wheeled vehicles and anything that chucks up dust (rockets) is out of the question.

Really the best that could be achieved would be to drop a rather large tarpaulin on
the surface, colonise that bit with a number of solar panel array electrolysis machines serviced by a lot of vacuum cleaners, and pump the resultant molecules up large pipes to a geostationary fuel station a few hundred, ( or thousand) miles off the ground, depending on the budget.

Plenty of theories abound about where the best spot exists to site a launch pad for anything useful, be it a docking bay for transit flights, fuel storage, or a manned station.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_space_elevator

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:58 am
by smeggypants
I can foresee a Lunar base this century though.

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:50 am
by Channel Hopper
smeggypants wrote:I can foresee a Lunar base this century though.



Of course, but manned travel only after the next active part of the sun cycle, and certainly only with people willing to take a chance of getting a nice dose of rays, and some rather fast bits of rock landing on, or near them.

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:07 am
by smeggypants
Channel Hopper wrote:
smeggypants wrote:I can foresee a Lunar base this century though.



Of course, but manned travel only after the next active part of the sun cycle, and certainly only with people willing to take a chance of getting a nice dose of rays, and some rather fast bits of rock landing on, or near them.



Oh there's plenty of mobile phone users that would be suitable :rofl:

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:04 am
by annie27
How come after all those moon walks and samples the Americans have collected this has only just come to light ....from India :D Amazing eh ! ;) why its almost like they have never been !!!! :rofl:

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:33 am
by smeggypants
annie27 wrote:How come after all those moon walks and samples the Americans have collected this has only just come to light ....from India :D Amazing eh ! ;) why its almost like they have never been !!!! :rofl:


heehee :)


Well NASA are certainly trying now ........ they're going for a double kamikaze impact mission. Pretty cool stuff really. I can't wait for any pictures of the impact

US spacecraft set for Moon crash

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Nasa is set to crash two unmanned spacecraft into the Moon in a bid to detect the presence of water-ice.

A 2,200kg rocket stage will be first to collide, hurling debris high above the lunar surface.

A second spacecraft packed with science instruments will then analyse the contents of this dusty cloud before meeting a similar fate.

The identification of water-ice in the impact plume would be a major discovery, scientists say.

Not least because a supply of water on the Moon would be a vital resource for future human exploration.

The existence of water-ice in permanently shadowed craters at the lunar poles had previously been postulated by scientists, but never confirmed.

The $79m mission is called LCROSS (the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite).

There are two main components: the large Centaur rocket upper stage and a smaller "shepherding spacecraft".

These have been connected since they were launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in June.

The shepherding spacecraft is designed to guide the rocket to its target at the Moon's south pole, a shaded 98m-wide depression called Cabeus crater.

Rocket separation

In the early hours of Friday morning (BST), the Centaur and shepherding spacecraft will separate.

At a scheduled time of 1231 BST (0731 EDT), the rocket stage will hit the Moon's south pole at roughly twice the speed of a bullet, throwing an estimated 350 metric tonnes of debris to altitudes of 10km (6.2 mile) or more.

With an energy equivalent to that released by one-and-a-half tonnes of TNT, the collision will carve out a crater some 20m (66ft) wide and about 4m (13ft) deep.

The shepherding spacecraft will follow in the Centaur's wake, descending through the debris plume to hit the lunar surface four minutes after the initial impact.

It will use onboard spectrometers to look for signs of water, hydroxyl compounds (OH), salts, clays, hydrated minerals and organic molecules in the sun-lit plume.

The spacecraft will collect data continuously until it too slams into the Moon, generating a second, smaller debris cloud.

Craters such as Cabeus are permanently draped in darkness and thus very cold, receiving heat only from space and from the Moon's interior (which is not thought to be geologically active).

Here in the lunar "shadowlands", ice - perhaps delivered by cometary impacts - is protected from the Sun's rays and could remain stable over geological timescales.

"If ice is present in the permanently shaded craters... it could potentially provide a water source for the eventual establishment of a manned base on the Moon," said Dr Vincent Eke, from Durham University, UK, who is not a member of the LCROSS team. Article Continues here ...

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:54 pm
by smeggypants
Looks like it was only a partial success. Dust cloud was much smaller than expected.

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:34 pm
by diablo
smeggypants wrote:Looks like it was only a partial success. Dust cloud was much smaller than expected.


I only heard it on radio, though from what I've heard since I didn't miss much.

They interiewed that Zummerset professor with the huge sideburns who launched the failed Mars lander (Colin whatsisname) a while ago and he was speculating that maybe the crater had a layer of ice at the bottom which might have had an effect.

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:58 pm
by smeggypants
The Zummerzet profressor is great. He looks like he should be Morris dancing at a beer festival.

I was hoping the craft following the impact transit van sized thing could have least taken some pictures of the impact.

Annie will now tell us it didn't happen :)

Loadsa water on the Moon!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:57 pm
by Channel Hopper
smeggypants wrote:Looks like it was only a partial success. Dust cloud was much smaller than expected.



I think it fell into a lake.