SIGN UP FOR POSTSCARD'S MORNING NEWSLETTER

The best stories of the day, in your inbox

Moon’s Water Ice Reserves Far Greater Than Expected: ISRO Study

moon

If you’re a Bengaluru resident, the timing of this announcement by ISRO may come across as insensitive to you. A new study by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) reveals there’s significantly more water ice hiding beneath the surface of the Moon’s polar craters than previously thought! The research, conducted alongside collaborators from IIT Kanpur, University of Southern California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and IIT (ISM) Dhanbad, analyzed data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Their findings suggest there could be 5 to 8 times more ice in the first few meters underground compared to what’s visible on the surface, at both the north and south poles. This is particularly promising for the northern pole, which the study indicates holds roughly twice the amount of ice compared to the south.

A Game-Changer for Future Missions to Moon

Unearthing more lunar ice is a game-changer for future missions. Water is a vital resource, not just for drinking, but also for producing fuel and other necessities. Having this ice readily available would be a huge advantage for establishing a long-term human presence on the Moon. The study also delves into the origins of this ice, supporting the theory that volcanic activity billions of years ago released gases that eventually froze in the Moon’s permanently shadowed craters. The distribution of the ice is also believed to be influenced by ancient volcanic flows and specific crater formations.

How Did ISRO Make This Discovery?

The research team utilized an impressive arsenal of instruments aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. This included radar, lasers, optical sensors, and spectrometers to scan the lunar surface and peer beneath it. ISRO’s findings provide crucial data for selecting future landing sites on the Moon. This information will be instrumental in missions aimed at studying and potentially extracting lunar water ice. The study also reinforces the promise of ISRO’s own plans for future lunar exploration focused on in-situ resource utilization, which involves using resources found on the Moon to support human missions. This discovery adds another layer of intrigue to the Moon, paving the way for a future where humanity has a frozen, but potentially life-giving foothold on our closest celestial neighbor1.

The Moon continues to surprise us with its hidden secrets, and this latest revelation about abundant water ice beneath its surface opens up exciting possibilities for space exploration and colonization. As we look to the stars, the Moon remains a critical stepping stone for humanity’s journey beyond Earth.

India’s business tycoon Mukesh Ambani and his wife, Nita Ambani,

YouTube sensation Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, is making

WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging platform, is rolling out an

Filmmaker Payal Kapadia has scripted history by becoming the first Indian

YouTube Music has just rolled out an exciting new feature

A devastating fire broke out at the New Born Baby Care

A devastating fire at the TRP amusement and theme park’s

Kabosu, the Shiba Inu that became a global sensation as

Exactly two years after the tragic Uvalde school massacre, families

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: A devastating landslide in Papua New

In a significant development, Bibhav Kumar, the main accused in

The West Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has made a

In a significant development for Tamil Nadu’s ambitions of becoming

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has initiated large-scale military exercises

Activision has officially announced the highly anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has been discharged from Ahmedabad’s

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued warnings for Cyclone

At least seven people lost their lives, and 48 others

Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321, en route from London to Singapore,

Microsoft has just unveiled its latest innovation in the PC

In a significant development, the High Court of the United Kingdom has

Indian students studying medicine in Kyrgyzstan’s capital city, Bishkek, find

Two people tragically lost their lives in a horrific accident

In a high-stakes clash during the IPL 2024, Chennai Super

Get daily updates in your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter.