Lunar Ice Debate's Two NASA Probes

Is there frozen water on the lunar surface? Scientists have debated this question for years. NASA is planning to launch two probes this week to try and find out.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the LCROSS impactor are intended to discover if any ice is present in places like deep craters at the moon's poles. These craters have received no direct sunlight for at least 2 billion years.

LCROSS will crash two probes into the moon, hoping to produce evidence of hydrogen locked away in the moon's North Pole. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will map the moon from orbit and work with other ground and space-based assets to scan the LCROSS impacts.

Science fiction fans have been rooting for the possibility of ice right along with scientists. In Robert Heinlein's 1966 novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, ice mining is a perfectly respectable trade.

One shy little fellow with the bloodshot eyes of an old-time drillman stood up. "I'm an ice miner," he said. "Learned my trade doing time for Warden like most of you. I've been on my own thirty years and done okay... I should say I did do okay... because today you have to listen farther out or deeper down to find ice."

"That's okay, still ice in the Rock and a miner expects to sound for it. But Authority pays same price for ice now as thirty years ago. And that's not okay..."

Still, finding water ice on the moon is far preferable to shipping it from Earth. Anthony Colaprete, principal investigator on NASA's LCROSS, short for the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, estimates the cost of shipping a gallon of water merely to Low Earth Orbit at about $100,000.

Read more details about the lunar ice missions at Space.com. Also, fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey will enjoy watching this animation of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LCROSS combined mission.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/17/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...' - Ray Cummings, 1930.

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

Ancient Ocean On Ceres?
'We sailed gently forward, hull down to the asteroid's surface... A little sea was now beneath us.'

Lunatix Lunar Rover Will Accept YOUR Commands!
'The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... ' - Niven and Pournelle, 1981.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

PRIMA Bionic Vision Restoration
'The VISOR... was a medical device used in the Federation to aid patients who have suffered loss of eyesight...'

Audi Traffic Jam Pilot Knows If You're Sleeping
'Even here, riding a garbage truck to eternity, the machine watched him...'

UM Hall Thruster Breaks Records
Someday, we'll see an ion drive used to get to Mars.

Ionity Ultra-fast Charging Station Network
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

VAuth Voice Security Wearable From University of Michigan
'Siri, I gave you a voice command...' 'Yes, but do I know you?'

Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life
Why be choosy? Just upload your whole life to the Internet, and be done with it.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.