NASA Finds Evidence of Water on the Moon

A team of NASA scientists using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy — a Boeing 747 with a telescope at the rear of its fuselage — found evidence of water on the moon in areas where the sun shines, according to CNET. The findings point to “widespread hydration,” according to research published in Nature Astronomy.

“This discovery reveals that water might be distributed across the lunar surface and not limited to the cold shadowed places near the lunar poles,” Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s astrophysics division, said, according to The New York Times.

Water in those areas of the moon would most likely be hard for astronauts to collect and study; however, some researchers have also reported more shallow depressions in the same sections of the moon could be cold enough to crater water for at least millions of years.

These water deposits could be a “game changer” by making it easier for future astronauts to be able to access them, researcher Paul O. Hayne, a professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado, said. This could have a big impact on future missions since astronauts might be able to drink the water found there.

The water molecules could also be broken down to hydrogen and oxygen atoms. As a result, astronauts would be able to use the oxygen to breathe. As an added bonus, future astronauts could use both the hydrogen and oxygen as rocket propellant to return to earth or possibly travel to Mars and other planets years from now.