Scientists have observed patches of ice on the Moon’s surface – and experts believe explorers on future moon missions could one day drink it.
The patches of ice were detected by NASA teams at the moon’s poles in the darkest and coldest areas of the polar regions.
At the southern pole, most of the ice is concentrated at lunar craters, while the northern pole’s ice is more widely, but sparsely, spread.
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It was detected by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument on board the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organization.
It collected data that not only picked up the reflective properties we’d expect from ice, but was able to directly measure the distinctive way its molecules absorb infrared light, so it can differentiate between liquid water or vapour and solid ice.
Most of the ice detected is in shadowy craters, never lit by the sun, which are permanently cold and dark.
NASA’s experts believe that it could possibly be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the Moon.
It is potentially easier to access than the water detected beneath the Moon’s surface.