Water found in tiny beads from the moon

CLEVELAND (UPI) — U.S. researchers said they’ve discovered water in tiny beads of volcanic glass collected from two Apollo missions to the moon.

Jim Van Orman, a professor in the geological sciences department at Case Western Reserve University, said the findings suggest the water came from the moon’s interior and was delivered to the surface through volcanic eruptions.

The research team, which included scientists from Brown University, Carnegie Institution for Science and Case Western Reserve, said finding water on the moon’s surface could have a big effect on any future plans for long-term manned lunar presence or using the moon as a launching point for explorations further into space.

“Water contains the essential ingredients used for rocket fuel,” Van Orman said in a statement. “Certainly, if there is ice on the moon’s polar caps, that could be used. But if there is water in the rocks –and as much as our studies infer– that is another resource that could be tapped.”

The findings are published in the journal Nature.

from Arcamax Science and Technology E-zine, July 15, 2008

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