Moon probe benefits continue


  • Randy Showstack


NASA's dramatic finale to the Lunar Prospector spacecraft—crashing it into a shadowed crater near the Moon's south pole on July 31—has produced no observable detection of ice water, according to research group leaders from the University of Texas at Austin who announced their results on October 13.

The researchers say this lack of ice water detection leaves in question whether permanently shadowed regions of the Moon harbor buried remains of ice that may have been delivered by ancient comet impacts. During its main mapping mission, the Lunar Prospector had indirectly measured large amounts of hydrogen suggesting the presence of water.