Ice deposits, derived from comets and water-bearing meteorites hitting the Moon over geological times, have long been postulated to exist in dark areas near the poles of the Moon. The characteristics of radio waves beamed from the Clementine spacecraft into the polar areas, reflected from the Moon's surface, and received on the large dish antennas of the Deep Space Network here on Earth show that roughly the volume of a small lake (∼0.9-1.8 km3) of water ice makes up part of the Moon's surface layer near the south pole. The discovery of ice near the lunar south pole has important ramifications for a permanent return to the Moon. These deposits could be used to manufacture rocket propellant and to support human life on the Moon.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Solar System Research|
|State||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science