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"Why does a creative person create? It's a type of compulsion. I like to explore new ideas."
- Bart Kosko

Lunar Ice Mining  
  The practice of mining for ice on the moon.  

In the novel, water could be found by mining on the Moon. The habit of clipped speech Russian style is seen in the words of the narrator.

One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. "I'm an ice miner," he said. "Learned by trade doing time for Warden like most of you. I've been on my own thirty years and done okay... I should say 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..."

From The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by GP Putnam in 1966
Additional resources -

This is not the first reference to the idea of mining ice on the moon; I don't know if there are earlier references in science fiction - readers?

The possibility of ice in the floors of polar lunar craters was first suggested by scientists in 1961 by Caltech researchers Kenneth Watson, Bruce C. Murray, and Harrison Brown. The first scientific suggestion that water ice existed on the lunar surface came in 1994; Clementine, a military space probe, beamed radar energy onto the lunar surface in such a way as to bounce it to radar stations on Earth. Analysis appeared to show that the echoes were consistent with an icy surface as opposed to a rocky surface.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Lunar Ice Mining-related news articles:
  - 'Significant Amount' Of Lunar Water Found
  - Will We Mine The Moon For Ice?

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