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NASA: water found on the moon’s southern hemisphere

Lunar water would be a valuable resource for future moon missions.
FILE - In this Monday Feb. 9, 2009 file photo, a faint shadow from the Earth is cast over part...
FILE - In this Monday Feb. 9, 2009 file photo, a faint shadow from the Earth is cast over part of the Moon during a penumbral lunar eclipse, seen from Manila, Philippines. The penumbral lunar eclipse on July 4, 2020, will likely not be even this visible from Earth without special equipment, according to NASA.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 9:17 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - For the first time ever, NASA says there is water on the moon’s sunlit surface.

It can be found just below the surface on the side of the moon that’s exposed to the sun. However, there’s not much there.

Previous observations of the Moon’s surface detected some form of hydrogen, however NASA was unable to distinguish between water and hydroxyl, a close chemical relative of H2O.

“We had indications that H2O – the familiar water we know – might be present on the sunlit side of the Moon,” said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Now we know it is there. This discovery challenges our understanding of the lunar surface and raises intriguing questions about resources relevant for deep space exploration.”

NASA says it’s a fraction of what would be in the Sahara Desert. In another study the space agency believes lunar ice patches on the dark side of the moon could contain more water than previously thought.

Lunar water would be a valuable resource for any future moon missions.

“Water is a valuable resource, for both scientific purposes and for use by our explorers,” said Jacob Bleacher, chief exploration scientist for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. “If we can use the resources at the Moon, then we can carry less water and more equipment to help enable new scientific discoveries.”

The next NASA mission is set for 2024.

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