NASA has confirmed, for the first time, that there is water on the sunlit surface of the moon.
The revelation means it is possible water is easily accessible and not just in the deep, permanently shadowed craters of the south pole, as was previously thought. A separate piece of research found these so-called ‘cold traps’, which are always in shadow, may contain up to 15,000 square miles (40,000 square km) of water. The discovery means future missions to the moon could be prolonged by making use of these water molecules which are scattered across the moon.
Astronauts could use the natural resource, which may have arrived via comets or solar winds, and turn it into oxygen or drinking water to sustain a future colony. Scientists also say the water could be used to make rocket fuel, lightening missions and slashing mission costs to make interplanetary space travel easier and cheaper.