There is water on the Moon. After years of encouraging scientific data, this summer the finding was conclusive. Analysis of data from the Indian satellite Chandrayaan-1 proved it.
What good is water on the Moon? As someone once said, “In the desert, gold is useless, and water is priceless.” The Moon is a desert. Space is a desert. And the water on the Moon is perfectly placed to support a sustainable human presence there.
But water can also be split into hydrogen and oxygen with electricity. What do hydrogen and oxygen make? ROCKET FUEL. Very efficient rocket fuel.
Can the water be mined, processed, stored and delivered in an economic way? 30 of us spent six months studying the problem and determining that it could. The report, Commercial Lunar Propellant Architecture: A Collaborative Study of Lunar Propellant Production, is now available online in the journal REACH. You can access it for free (until April 26) using the following link:
I hope you are as excited by the prospect as I am. The US now has a policy of returning to the moon, and doing it sustainably–meaning staying there. This will be an important part of making that happen.