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NASA Estimates 600 Million Metric Tons of Water Ice At Moon's North Pole

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-sign-of-moon-santa dept.

Moon 271

After analyzing data from a radar device aboard last year's Indian Chandrayaan-1 mission to the Moon, NASA scientists have found what they estimate to be 600 million metric tons of water ice in craters around the Moon's north pole. "Numerous craters near the poles of the Moon have interiors that are in permanent sun shadow. These areas are very cold and water ice is stable there essentially indefinitely. Fresh craters show high degrees of surface roughness (high circular polarization ratio) both inside and outside the crater rim, caused by sharp rocks and block fields that are distributed over the entire crater area. However, Mini-SAR has found craters near the north pole that have high CPR inside, but not outside their rims. This relation suggests that the high CPR is not caused by roughness, but by some material that is restricted within the interiors of these craters. We interpret this relation as consistent with water ice present in these craters. The ice must be relatively pure and at least a couple of meters thick to give this signature."

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271 comments

Send up some miners (4, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330198)

Having been a Heinlein fan for the last 30 or so years, I have to say this makes me happy inside.

Re:Send up some miners (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330460)

If they're going all the way to the moon and back just for water, you had better specify "some really STUPID miners."

Re:Send up some miners (3, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330554)

If they're going all the way to the moon and back just for water

Water is one of the key things you'd need to run a settlement for other purposes -- a great deal of it is required to maintain an ecosystem (remember, you want plants for both food and air), it's extremely expensive to lift out of the gravity well, and it can be trivially broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, both of which are useful on their own. No, ice is worth far more up there than down here; why would you ship it down (at least, without first producing a useful product out of it, thus increasing its value)?

Slandering Heinlein... *shakes head*.

Re:Send up some miners (0, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330670)

Why would you settle there in the first place, when it's a barren rock? Sure ice makes the moon SLIGHTLY more survivable, but to what end?

Oh, and Heinlein was a hack. He was only slightly more talented than uber-hacks like Hubbard and Harlan Ellison.

Re:Send up some miners (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330728)

The moon is, more or less, as inhospitable as Mars. The point of settling on the moon would be to learn how to settle other planets, except that the stakes and upfront cost are far smaller.

Re:Send up some miners (4, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330750)

The moon is a way station. I mean, almost NO ONE meant to settle in places like Kansas City, all those years ago. But, some of the early passers-by saw that it could be profitable to build a few stores, to cater to the OTHER settlers going west.

Besides - slashdot has plenty of creatures who dwell in basements. They'd be perfectly content to dig into the moon's surface with all that ice water at hand. Plant a few plants, rig up a little solar power, add a few fiber optic cables, and you'd have one hell of a LAN party.

Hey - I've gotta go patent this idea I just had, see you 'round!

Re:Send up some miners (2, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331058)

Where would the solar power be coming from, given that the only water that's there is buried in permanent shadow?

You'd need a heck of a tower, or a pump. Or a huge orbital mirror array to shine light where the sun don't normally shine. But then the ice would melt and there'd be no point to settling those craters again. drats!

Someone will patent these ideas anyway, and maybe be foolish enough to implement. Same ones with all of these carbon sequestration schemes... they've got it all wrong! If they REALLY want to secure the one-world government, they should sequester all the oxygen and sell it back to all the people who didn't care about environmental regulation :-P

Re:Send up some miners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330876)

mining and manufacturing. why on gods green earth would you import water when you can get it in situ. also, unless you are going to have a totally unmanned mining base, you don't want the base's potable water and breathable air supplies dependent on shipments from earth, you want them to be independent as it cuts down on cost. you also need water as a coolant for keeping the habitat cool (the surface can get quite hot when facing the sun) and for keeping power generators (solar thermal and nuclear) in enough working medium for their turbines. the list goes on to solvents and scrubbers and what not.

science fiction thought of the reason for wanting to mine ice long ago

Re:Send up some miners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331048)

Because it would be easier to build large ships in space, rather than trying to overcome gravity to exit. It makes getting to other planets a bit more realistic.

Re:Send up some miners (0, Offtopic)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330634)

The water comes back in the form of grain, to feed the starving masses here on earth. The grain is put into metal cases and launched downhill via magnetic catapult. [amazon.com]
 
Send prisoners up, they mine the ice, grow the food and send it down. Very nice system for earth until the loonies revolt.

fatal flaw: (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330894)

But the prisoners are resistant to having all the water extracted from them, so you have an unsustainable, open system.

And assuming you get over that hurdle, wouldn't you have to ship up more kg of prisoners than you ship down kg of wheat? Or could you get close to a 1:1 ratio if you freeze-dried the wheat to recover moisture before shipment?

Re:Send up some miners (1)

robinstar1574 (1472559) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330818)

Uhh... water can be transmuted into various forms with little energy. You can take silicon and carbon and phospherous and varous other things necessary for human life to be sustained, add water, and you can have a viable environment for human life. Build solar panels to produce electricity, using the titanium on the surface to move that electricity, turn the water and some carbon into Carbonic Acid, which can easily be transmuted into Hydrocarbons (sorry, me, for leaking out details of a secret government operation to turn global warming into a good thing.)
Just becasue theres miners up there dosn't mean they are stupid. They wouldn't need to be stupid. If they are told that it can benefit man kind, then they would go up. Unless his name is Barrack H. Obama.

Re:Send up some miners (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330996)

I dunno, people import bottled water from some pretty darned remote places.

I, for one, would take a sip. 8-D

But then again, I also drink from most public water fountains.

Earth (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330204)

Sounds like a lot until you realize there the amount on earth is measured as a few 10^18 metric tons. More than a couple orders of magnitude difference.

Re:Earth (5, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330746)

Presuming that somebody is going to the Moon anyway, the cost of getting a kilo of water there is of the order of tens of thousands of dollars. Digging a kilo up in-situ, if it's handy, costs very little indeed. That's the point. It's like finding a bunch of ready cut diamond rings lying around, as opposed to having to build a strip mine, excavate them and cut them, mine the gold for the ring, smelt it, make a ring, and mount the diamond.

Re:Earth (0, Troll)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331080)

It's like finding a bunch of ready cut diamond rings lying around, as opposed to having to build a strip mine, excavate them and cut them, mine the gold for the ring, smelt it, make a ring, and mount the diamond.

Well, yeah sure, finding the ring is great for us slashdotters, but if you've ever had a girlfriend, you'd realize that she would expect you to "build a strip mine, excavate them and cut them, mine the gold for the ring, smelt it, make a ring, and mount the diamond".

"Where did you get that ring???" sob - slap slap

Re:Earth (1)

grodzix (1235802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330878)

Now just subtract all the non-drinkable water and you won't be left with even quarter of that. And besides, you will never need as much water on the Moon (Moon is much smaller and various ways of recycling water will be used) as on Earth so such comparison is pointless.

Units! (3, Funny)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330214)

How many Olympic swimming pools is that?

Re:Units! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330336)

1000L = 1 Metric Ton(http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_liters_of_water_is_in_one_ton_of_water)
2,500,000L = 1 Olympic Swiming Pool(http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_water_does_an_Olympic_sized_swimming_pool_hold)

My math might be off, but that puts 600,000,000 Metric Tons of water at 240,000 Olympic swimming pools worth =D

Re:Units! (1)

AGMW (594303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330822)

... but that puts 600,000,000 Metric Tons of water at 240,000 Olympic swimming pools worth =D

OK, so that's by far and away NOT an inexhaustible supply then!
Using it for basic 'living' needs ought to be all fine and dandy (ie O2, drinkies, plants, washing, sports) assuming we can sensibly recycle the stuff, and AFAIK we're already OK at that (see ISS). Indeed, that much water should support a pretty sizeable colony.
Using it as 'propellant' might not be so sensible though, as it will dwindle PDQ!

Re:Units! (1, Informative)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330454)

1 metron ton = 1000 kilograms

Liters which translates, for water, to roughly the same to kg.

According to Wiki, an olympic pool as a minimum volume of 2,500 m3 (88,000 cu ft) or 2,500,000 L (550,000 imp gal; 660,000 US gal) which would be filled with 2500 tons of water.

hence, you could fill up 2400 olympic pools (6 000 000 / 2500 ).

If you take into account the atmospheric pressure, weight of ice and perfect ratio between the water - kilos conversion that number might variate a bit.

Re:Units! (1)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330520)

correction they esitmate 600 million metric tons - you have 6 million

so 600,000,000 / 2500 would be approximately 240,000 olympic pools

Re:Units! (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330564)

How did you and AC get your answers so different? I'm guessing AC had his last equation screwed up...

Still, this would be enough water for a pretty sizable settlement on the moon, so I think we should be all set for settling the moon.

Re:Units! (1)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330916)

I prefer imperial units. I know metric units are more simple and logical, but...

"A pint's a pound the world around."

You can't make neat rhymes with metrics.

"A litre's a kilogram the world o' sham a lam."

It just doesn't work.

Re:Units! (1)

Mantis8 (876944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330904)

Water ice?!?!

That's like saying, "hey, come on over to my place and we'll go swimming in my water pool!"

Re:Units! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330942)

That's a lot of Harvey Wallbangers!

Just trying to put it in units that would have been appropriate for the last time anyone was on the moon. I am somewhat surprised there wasn't a smoking apparatus of some kind for the inside of spacesuits!

Re:Units! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331130)

Let's use units we all understand, please. 600 million metrics tons is about 829 milliOprahs, or a 4.2 on the Candy scale.

Margaritas anyone? (0, Offtopic)

voodoo cheesecake (1071228) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330222)

Could this be a new source of funding for moon exploration?

Let's go again before I die! (1)

xanthos (73578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330560)

It's been almost 40 freakin years since someone has been on the moon! I remember it because I am an old guy but most of the planet wasn't born yet when it happened. There is so much we don't know yet and 40 years of questions to be answered yet. We have spent more time on the surface of Mars, thanks to Spirit and Opportunity than we have the moon. If only we could find a way to ensure it would be profitable! Then we could make the dim witted people without enough brains to get a real job that we elect to government take notice.

(yes I feel better now, thank you.)

Re:Let's go again before I die! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330812)

"most of the planet wasn't born yet when it happened"

Yes, there's a joke in there. No, I'm not touching it. ;^)

But, I'll admit: I watched all of the moon landings on television, live. Maybe that's why I'm not going to bash you with the planet's birth. Us old bastards gotta stick together.

That's great, but.... (0, Offtopic)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330226)

That's great they found water, but can someone convert it into non-commie units? I want my water measured in hogsheads, dammit!

Re:That's great, but.... (1)

Mashdar (876825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330340)

In the spirit of individuality and innovation, I vote we each create our own system of measurements, and use them exclusively. Six billion units of length, and no standard!

Re:That's great, but.... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330524)

There were no communists around at the time when the first people got the idea to put the decimal number system that we have to a good use. But I will translate it for you: The volume mentioned is over two billion koku.

Good! (0, Offtopic)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330266)

Our handsomest politicians have come up with a cheap, last minute way to combat global warming. We need to start mining this shit so we can drop a giant ice cube into the ocean now and again. Of course, because the greenhouse gasses are still building up, it will take more and more ice each time, thus solving the problem once and for all.

But in all seriousness, if you dropped a 600 million metric ton ice cub into the ocean, what would happen?

Re:Good! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330456)

But in all seriousness, if you dropped a 600 million metric ton ice cub into the ocean, what would happen?

...you would water it down? ::rimshot::

Re:Good! (2, Interesting)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330458)

But in all seriousness, if you dropped a 600 million metric ton ice cub into the ocean, what would happen?

Well, the iceberg that just broke off of Antarctica was about 1000 times as large, if that helps.

And if it doesn't help, assuming that it would cause about as much effect as tossing a normal ice cube into an Olympic-sized swimming pool wouldn't be too far off. Though the normal ice-cube in the Olympic-sized pool would cool things down a bit more....

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331078)

Well, the iceberg that just broke off of Antarctica was about 1000 times as large, if that helps.

That ice was already in the ocean. It's just drifting free now, which doesn't change much. If I did my math right, 600 million metric tons of ice would raise sea level by 1 mm.

Re:Good! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330570)

But in all seriousness, if you dropped a 600 million metric ton ice cub into the ocean, what would happen?

The first thing that would happen is scientists all over the world would ask you how you managed to marshal the incredible resources needed for such a feat, followed by questions of how you managed to get it through the atmosphere without it breaking up. Next would come the numerous islanders and coastal dwellers looking to string you up from the nearest tree for wiping out large swaths of the coast and killing hundreds of thousands of people.

That should roughly equal (4, Informative)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330286)

1,267,327,975,003 pints of beer.

Re:That should roughly equal (2, Informative)

y4ku (1681156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330414)

Or for us Russians, 403,361,142,857 handles of vodka.

Re:That should roughly equal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330840)

Take one down, pass it around.... 1,267,327,975,002 pints of beer on the moon.

Habitable Moon (4, Interesting)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330344)

This is great. Now all we need is oxygen and we can live there. Hmmm..... O2 from electrolysis of water, powered by solar?

Sounds like it might now be vastly easier to establish a self-sustaining moon colony.

Re:Habitable Moon (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330468)

I doubt that there will ever be a completely self-sustaining lunar colony. The moon severely lacks in carbon and nitrogen. You need both to replenish lost atmosphere. For complete self-sustenance you also need a source of carbon to form a chemical supply chain. This is also not possible. So you would have to at least import those two elements in sizeable quantities.

Re:Habitable Moon (2, Interesting)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330708)

Tell me again why I'd want to colonize the bottom of a gravity well when sunshine is ubiquitous, water comets are floating about nearby and metallic asteroids are just waiting to be spun, melted with mirrors and mined for metals?

Re:Habitable Moon (0, Troll)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330518)

Why would you want to live on the moon when there are so many third world countries left to rape of resources on earth?

Re:Habitable Moon (5, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330532)

A few months ago, the Japanese probe Kaguya/SELENE gave us a map of the numerous uranium deposits on the moon. This is it. Let's go, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR ?

The project Orion [wikipedia.org] got shelved because detonating nukes to propel a spacecraft had too much environmental and political problems, but from the Moon none of these problems are relevant. For a reminder, this projects proposes a spacecraft that could weight 100 000 tons, go at 3% of c through a constant 1g acceleration during 10 days. Let's build a godamn shipyard on the moon !

Re:Habitable Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330566)

Now if only they would find some Humulus lupulus and Hordeum vulgare...

Don't mine all of them (1)

buback (144189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330364)

This is incredible news, but a couple of these craters should be preserved as they are. All that ice has taken billions of years to accumulate, and we should save one or two of the prettiest looking ones for posterity.

That is, once we get there and start chopping up ice on an industrial scale.

Re:Don't mine all of them (3, Insightful)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330600)

It's a big rock floating through vacuum. What is there to preserve? There's no ecosystem, no history, no emotional attachment. The only reason I can think of not to use it is that once it's used up, then it's gone, and if you think of an even better way to use it later then it's too late.

Re:Don't mine all of them (1)

buback (144189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330912)

It's not just some big rock; It's the Moon. It's the same Moon that our primate ancestors looked up at in wonder. To say it has no history or emotional impact is profoundly ignorant.

How difficult is it to fence off ONE crater? The water in these craters will become the Blood an Flesh of our childrens' children, and spawn innumerable generations of Moon dwellers. They will surely thank us for saving one of the craters in it's pristine state.

It's a start (2, Interesting)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330398)

Now how much water is in the South Pole?

Re:It's a start (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330754)

Way more than on the moon--and it's got free oxygen, survivable atmospheric pressure, and survivable levels of solar radiation to boot. It's also a helluva lot easier to get to the than the moon.

Sure, the moon will prove less attractive than Antarctica to any rational human settlers, but who DOESN'T want to settle in Antarctica right? Anyone?

Re:It's a start (2, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331094)

Ah, the old "Let's finish colonising the earth before we try anywhere harder" argument? Logic... logic is the beginning of wisdom.

A Metric Ton = (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330410)

A Metric Ton = the weight of Fat Bastard...

practical information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330416)

Nevermind quantity, what's the density?

Global warming solved. (0, Offtopic)

moogied (1175879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330434)

If futurama taught me anything.. its that this effectively solves global warming. All we need now is to hire planet express to go the moon, cut some ice out, and drop it in the ocean. Done and done.

Won't last long! (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330446)

It'll be stable as water ice until we start to colonize, and then "lunar warming" will set in, which will thaw it out and turn the moon into a gigantic swimming pool! Or, at least that's what Al Gore tells me,. . .

Coca-Cola announces moon base (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330488)

Space elevator to be constructed to ship new "Lunar Juice" brand drinking water back to Earth for sale at your local quickie mart.

Plenty of water for whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330500)

And whalers. Oh, Futurama, how true you are.

oh fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330504)

did they weigh it using earth gravity or moon gravity?

Re:oh fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330714)

Newsflash: kilograms, by definition, are units of mass not weight.

When was all this figured out? (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330534)

I guess it would have been after 1972, because I'd like to think that NASA would have sent some Apollo astronauts to collect some ice samples while they still had the chance. Or was it always known, theoretically, and for whatever reason they decided it could wait, as everyone assumed that if Apollo 21 didn't get around to it, Apollo 86 would.

Sigh. I really miss those days.

Re:When was all this figured out? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330744)

None of the Apollo landing sites were anywhere near the poles. It's more complex (or more fuel dependent) to go into a polar orbit from my understanding, making it tough to put a human-occupied lander there (compared to putting it down near the equator).

Re:When was all this figured out? (3, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330940)

I guess it would have been after 1972, because I'd like to think that NASA would have sent some Apollo astronauts to collect some ice samples while they still had the chance. Or was it always known, theoretically, and for whatever reason they decided it could wait, as everyone assumed that if Apollo 21 didn't get around to it, Apollo 86 would.

Sigh. I really miss those days.

At least RTFS!

"After analyzing data from a radar device aboard last year's Indian Chandrayaan-1"

Chandrayaan-1 only went up a year and a half ago, so yes, this was figured out after 1972.

Daily Show covered this. (2, Informative)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330576)

I just got done watching the Daily Show about this.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-march-1-2010/neil-degrasse-tyson

How much for a bottle of that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330592)

And is it sparkling or not?

Screw NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330684)

I'm going to colonize the moon myself. We could power nuclear reactors and stuff up there with uranium and mine the crap out of the core of the moon to build more stuff.

Iceberg analogy (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330704)

Can someone please express "600 million metric tons of water ice" in terms of "an iceberg the size of [insert nation or state or island here]" ...?

Mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331074)

RFC 271828 (Slashdot meme protocol) indicates that the commenter MUST request analogies in the form of Libraries of Congress (LoC).

Example:
"How many LoC is 600 million metric tons of water ice?"

Please help our discussion system conform to the applicable RFC.

Why do people measure water as weight? (1)

robinstar1574 (1472559) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330712)

Measuring water as weight seems so totally illogical. I mean, we think of water as gallons, or liters, and have an easier time visualizing it when expressed in gallons or liters instead of as a weight. We all know that we couldn't lift this water, but thats the closest visualization i think most people can adhear to.

Re:Why do people measure water as weight? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330978)

Measuring water as weight seems so totally illogical.

In the metric system: 1 liter of water == 1 kg.

Exploitation (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330718)

How long until some corporation decides they'll mine all that ice, space-ship it down to Earth, and sell it to yuppies the world over. Moon water! Cures cancer, gets you laid! Get yer Moon water naow !!

NOT 600 Million... only 600 (-1, Offtopic)

meekg (30651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330734)

1.3 Million lb is not 600 Million tons, only 600.

There is no usable water on the moon.
600 tons, over this entire area, is a minuscule amount, in very low concentration, and in an extremely hostile environment.
From a scientific point of view, it is interesting.
From an exploration point of view, it is irrelevant. It is cheaper to bring it from Earth.

For more, see here: Crazy Eddie Blog [crazyeddieblog.org]

Re:NOT 600 Million... only 600 (1)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330832)

FTFA: 1.3 trillion pounds, or 600 million tons. Dividing by 2*10^3 shouldn't be that difficult.

Then again, this is Slashdot, nobody ever reads TFA!

Re:NOT 600 Million... only 600 (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330900)

TFA says its 1.3 trillion lb's, which is 6 orders of magnitude larger than that figure you pulled out of your ass.

Re:NOT 600 Million... only 600 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330932)

1.3 Million lbs is not 600 Million tons... since a ton is a lot larger than a pound.... 600 tons is right.

Re:NOT 600 Million... only 600 (1)

buckeyeguy (525140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330936)

from the article (remember, reading is FUNdamental....):

Using data from a NASA radar that flew aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, scientists have detected ice deposits near the moon's north pole. NASA's Mini-SAR instrument, a lightweight, synthetic aperture radar, found more than 40 small craters with water ice. The craters range in size from 1 to 9 miles (2 to15 km) in diameter. Although the total amount of ice depends on its thickness in each crater, it's estimated there could be at least 1.3 trillion pounds (600 million metric tons) of water ice.

The great thing is, once it's being used, the moon craters provide convenient locations for wastewater impound lagoons; cheaper than 100% recycling.

Re:NOT 600 Million... only 600 (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331036)

The 1.3 million pounds seem to be wrong and fixed in the press release, as it right now lists 1.3 trillion pounds.

Indefinitely stable water? (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330772)

These areas are very cold and water ice is stable there essentially indefinitely.

Just give us a few years. I can see the ads:

"Experience our jetted tubs in just 1/6th Earth's gravity -- like lying on a table of water."

"Engineers needed to build ice-melting machines to cool Lunar Fission Reactor."

"Don't forget to flush!"

Who gives a crap (1, Flamebait)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31331056)

Like we will ever be going there in our lifetimes. NASA has effectively had it's balls cut off. When the people vote themselves Bread and Circuses (i.e. "spread the wealth around"), all useful discretionary spending will get diverted to social programs to keep them happy.

You may have ice... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31331118)

But without vodka and vermouth a moon colony will not be sustainable. Didn't anyone see Moonraker?

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