IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

On the moon, water everywhere but not a drop to drink yet

28th October, 2020 Science and Technology

Introduction: Earth is a wet world, with vast salty oceans, large freshwater lakes and ice caps that serve as water reservoirs.

  • The moon lacks the bodies of liquid water that are a hallmark of Earth.
  • Lunar water is more widespread than previously known, with water molecules trapped within mineral grains on the surface and more water perhaps hidden in ice patches residing in permanent shadows.
  • Water is a precious resource and a relatively plentiful lunar presence could prove important to future astronaut and robotic missions seeking to extract and utilize water for purposes such as a drinking supply or a fuel ingredient.
  • Molecular water on the lunar surface, is trapped within natural glasses or between debris grains.
  • The only way for this water to survive on the sunlit lunar surfaces where it was observed was to be embedded within mineral grains, protecting it from the frigid and foreboding environment.