Shop Windows to the Universe

The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.
What a future Moon colony might look like...
NASA

Water on the Moon?
News story originally written on March 10, 1998

The tiny Lunar Prospector probe launched in January 1998 has found the answer to the most controversial question in lunar science. The Lunar Prospector has found that there is indeed water-ice located at the poles of the Moon. This finding, made just days ago, is certainly a historical discovery!

The Prospector is piggy-backing on the work done earlier by Clementine in 1994. Clementine, a lunar probe built by the Pentagon, first indicated the possibility of ice on the Moon. Now, just four years later, scientists are claiming Prospector's findings of ice as unquestionably true.

Prospector has found between 10 and 300 million tons of water-ice located at the North and South poles of the Moon. This water-ice probably accumulated as meteors and comets (both containing water) hit the Moon's surface.

You might find yourself saying, "So what! We have plenty of water here on Earth!" But the fact that we've found sources of water on the Moon makes the possibility of a lunar colony so much more feasible. You see, transporting water to the Moon to support the men and women who would live there would be very expensive - an estimated $10,000 per pound of water! The amount of water-ice that the Prospector predicts is present on the Moon could support a community of 1,000 two-person households for well over a century on the lunar surface, without recycling.

"This spacecraft has performed beyond all reasonable expectations," said NASA's Lunar Prospector mission manager Scott Hubbard. "The findings announced today are just the tip of the iceberg compared to the wealth of information forthcoming in the months and years ahead."

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, as well as books on science education!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

To the Moon!

The first NASA lunar mission in 25 years will be launched soon after the New Year begins. The Lunar Prospector spacecraft will be launched on January 5, 1998. After only a month's travel time to the Moon,...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more

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