(from : http://www.france2.fr )
translated from french by Yves
The US probe " Lunar Orbiter " detected water (under
its iced form) on the moon, more precisely on both poles of our
satellite. This observation confirms an earlier report obtained
by " Clementine " (a probe launched by the DOD) which
also detected iced water at the lunar south pole.
The moon thus becomes the fourth celestial body on which water
has been detected, after the Earth, Mars and Europe, one of the
" moons " of Jupiter. Earth, named the " blue
planet " after the presence of rivers, seas and oceans,
would be, however, the only planet or satellite where water
appears under its liquid form.
The water detected on the moon, at the bottom of craters
located on both the north and south poles, appeared to be "
mixed " with lunar dirt. This water may originate from the
collision of our satellite with (a) meteorite(s), (an) event(s)
which might have occurred ca. 3.6 billions years ago. On
another hand, water would be hidden on Europa below the frozen
surface of the Jovian moon.
Evidence for the presence of water on the moon opens new
prospects for spatial exploration. The amount of water on the
moon would be sufficient to fill a 10 km2 (4 square miles) lake
up to 11 meters (almost 40 feet), stated the responsible of the
lunar mission.This could allow a human colonization of our
satellite and its use as an E.T. launch base for exploration
missions towars Mars.
The second " Lunar Prospector " probe, the mission
of which is still under progress, may therefore bring a wealth of
new data and fascinating discoveries....
06-03-98 13H54 AY © France 2
The south pole of our moon. Picture taken by Clementine, a probe sent by the " Pentagon "
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