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Water on the Moon, Data from multiple missions seems to indicate...
elakdawalla
post Sep 24 2009, 03:09 PM
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Hey, Gordan pointed out to me that he already played with that data:
http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.p...ost&p=68698



Thanks Gordan!


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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Sep 24 2009, 03:14 PM
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http://www.isro.org/news/scripts/Sep24_2009.aspx

ISRO was the first agency to officially announce the finding
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ugordan
post Sep 24 2009, 04:46 PM
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I revisited the IR channels from the same 4 source cubes the above natural color stack is comprised of, here's a quick-n-dirty (hopefully) calibrated false color image showing 3.86 (apparently an absorption band), 2.98 and 2.00 microns as red, green and blue respectively. The version on the right was balanced to make each wavelength similarly bright. Magnified 8x.

Attached Image


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volcanopele
post Sep 24 2009, 05:45 PM
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Interesting finding. A similar absorption band at 3.15 microns was found on Io by NIMS both at a low background level, and in small concentrations. At the time, it was suggested that water (or hydrated minerals) arrived on Io either through cometary impacts or from Io volcanic activity, but now I wonder if charged particles in Jupiter's magnetic field could do something similar on Io to what these particles in the solar wind are apparently doing on the Moon (maybe with cometary impacts to explain the local concentrations).

http://gishbar.blogspot.com/2009/09/water-on-dry-worlds.html


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djellison
post Sep 24 2009, 05:47 PM
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QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Sep 24 2009, 04:14 PM) *
http://www.isro.org/news/scripts/Sep24_2009.aspx

ISRO was the first agency to officially announce the finding


And thus officially, still breach the embargo which doesn't expire for another 15 minutes.
rolleyes.gif

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centsworth_II
post Sep 24 2009, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 24 2009, 07:35 AM) *
...you might get a few tens of tons of water out of ploughing through an entire square km of surface. I'm struggling to imagine that as being useful for, err, anything.
I guess it depends on whether sucking the water from a square km of lunar surface or shipping it there from Earth is more cost effective.
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elakdawalla
post Sep 24 2009, 05:58 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Sep 24 2009, 09:47 AM) *
And thus officially, still breach the embargo which doesn't expire for another 15 minutes.
rolleyes.gif

No, Science lifted the embargo. However it is pretty bad form for them to issue their release before the briefing was to start.


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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Sep 24 2009, 06:06 PM
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Scientist: The Moon is very dry. If we have to extract all the water from Apollo's rocks, we will fill this spoon. The general idea is that the Moon is bone dry, but there may be water in shadowed regions.

Three papers will be published today. Three major instruments - M3, Visual and IR mapping spectrometer- Cassini, the third - Hi-res imaging spectrometer aboard Deep Impact (EPOXI).

These instruments made possible the water on the Moon to be mapped as it was never mapped before.

...

Widespread water was detected on the surface of the Moon.

Now we see a map of the distribution of OH and H2O on the Moon

EDIT

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/moonmars/featur...on20090924.html

Presented on NASA's website
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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Sep 24 2009, 06:15 PM
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A crater and one of the charts which shows water presence

EDIT: We see just the preliminary results from M3. The data is continued to be analyzed.

EDIT2: Water and OH- exist on all latitudes of the Moon.



Now a comparison between VIMS and M3

EDIT 3: All graphics and images were uploaded on NASA's website. No more uploading here.

EDIT 4: Even dry deserts on the Moon have more water than the Lunar (polar) craters

Now switching to phone calls
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djellison
post Sep 24 2009, 06:48 PM
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QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Sep 24 2009, 06:58 PM) *
No, Science lifted the embargo.


Ahhh - ok. I guess they didn't have much choice really.
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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Sep 24 2009, 06:51 PM
Post #26





Guests






Looks like they did it after the information leaked in the press.

biggrin.gif

Well, this is an amazing discovery. A spoon of lunar water versus pools of martian water smile.gif Despite this, it's exciting!

Congrats all!
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Greg Hullender
post Sep 24 2009, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Sep 24 2009, 09:49 AM) *
I guess it depends on whether sucking the water from a square km of lunar surface or shipping it there from Earth is more cost effective.

Given it only has to process the top cm of regolith, I figure an unmanned harvester with a 1m-wide scoop could process 3.4 square km per month if it moved at 5km/hr. If we take the estimate of 1L water per cubic meter of regolith, that'd be 34 metric tons of water per month or about 400 tons per year. If the point is to fuel rockets, that'd be about enough for a Falcon-1-sized launch per month. That's not too shabby.

Note also that if the source of water really is the solar wind, then this resource is renewable. I think that's pretty exciting.

--Greg (Please tell me I haven't misplaced a decimal point) :-)
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djellison
post Sep 24 2009, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Sep 24 2009, 07:51 PM) *
pools of martian water


About as appropriate a word as the BBC saying "Damp" for the new moon discovery. ph34r.gif
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Phil Stooke
post Sep 24 2009, 07:43 PM
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One litre per cubic metre... that sounds way too much, but it's pretty hard to get a handle on amounts here. 5 km/hour - can we extract the water molecules as fast as we can drive? That might be the limiting factor.

I'm not trying to sound too negative here, but I'm not convinced we could use the water that is being described at low latitudes. But concentrate it in cold traps, and I could see that being useful.

Phil


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djellison
post Sep 24 2009, 08:39 PM
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Like Greg - I'll say up front, I hope I've not screwed up any decimal places here.....

1kg of water per m^3 of soil.

They said figures like 1mm, 2mm, a few mm. I'll go with 2mm.

Thus - 1000 x 1000 x .002 m (i.e. farming 1 sq km) - is 2,000 kg of water.

Looking at something like the Mars Direct ISRO numbers - taking 8T of H2 and working with in-situ CO2 to make methane and O2. - 8T of H2 as water would be a further 64T of O2 - for a total of 72T of equivalent water, as it were.

That's 36 sqkm of farming, or, from a landing site - every scrap of surface regolith to a radius of 3.4km


Alternatively - taken an MSL sized rover - with some sort of soil harvesting combine harvester style rig on front - shall we say 3 x 1m wide grabbers ( like a big gang-lawn mower).

It would have to travel a total of 12,000km of 3m wide stripes to cover 36 sqkm. Quite by chance - that's about 1000km further than a circumnavigation of the whole moon.

At a brisk rover of, say 2.5m/sec (just over 5mph) - operating a 50% duty cycle for the day/night cycle - 110 days. But of course, you can't have a rover that just end up dragging a 70 ton sack - it'll have to get it bit, return it to be stored, go get some more, return it. Say you farm a 6km square, and can get one 3m x 6,000m stripe in one 'store'. It would be an average drive out of 3km, an average drive back from the end of 6.7km. Plus farming of 6km. 2000 times - 31,400km. Basically - a year of driving.

Harvesting at that higher figure, though, of 2.5m/sec - perhaps taking the top cm of soil (can't imagine how you'd take the top 2mm) - and a regolith density of 2.9g/cm^3 - that, amazingly, is 4.5 CuM or 13 tons of regolith per minute, producing (as only 1/5th of our 1cm harvest is 1% water) basically, 1 litre per minute.

I have no idea what sort of energy will be involved in getting that water out. Latent heat of vaporization is 2257 kJ/kg - 37 kWatts of energy required. (330x the RTG power of MSL, or a solar array about 9x9m at 30% effic)

As a comparison - to get 72,000kg of water up at Phoenix's landing site - taking, say, 30cm trough, at 500kg / m^3, at 3m wide, is only 160km of trough - 75x less than the lunar combine harvester.

QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Sep 24 2009, 08:43 PM) *
I'm not convinced we could use the water that is being described at low latitudes.


Nor me. Interesting - but not a resource.

Cool though.

I want my solar powered MSL sized water farming soil munching robot smile.gif
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