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This is an image of the Moon showing various minerals found on the surface.
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NASA

About Lunar Water

In the past everyone thought that the Moon had no water. Moon rocks found by Apollo astronauts contained no traces of water. Lunar mapping performed by the Galileo spacecraft, shown here, found no traces of water. The recent Clementine mission, an Airforce mission, made measurements however, which suggested that small, frozen pockets of ice may be found in shadowed regions of the lunar crust. Although the pockets are thought to be small, the overall amount of water may be large, perhaps the size of Lake Erie.

This water may come from comets which hit the Moon from time to time. Water may also come from individual water molecules which migrate to the coldest regions of the Moon where they refreeze on the surface, trapped inside enormous craters at the lunar poles. Some of these deep craters never receive any light from the Sun, they are permanently in the shade.

It is in such craters that instruments on board the Lunar Prospector spacecraft found frozen water. This water-ice could make space operations on the Moon possible, since carrying water from Earth is very expensive.

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About Lunar Water

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA