Monday, November 16, 2009
Water on the Moon
One of the most incredible scientific discoveries in my lifetime occurred this week.
There is water on the moon!
Recently, NASA plummeted a capsule into the moon's surface at 3500 miles an hour to create an explosive plume that could be analyzed. They had hoped to find a few teaspoons worth of water in that plume.
Instead they found 24 gallons!
That there is water on the moon changes the future of our manned spaced program and our vision for exploration (and colonization)of the solar system. Water means not only drinking water that doesn't need to be hauled to the moon (prohibitively expensive) but oxygen and fuel from the hydrogen.
Now its up to the Obama administration to step up to the plate. A recent review by the administration says that a planned return to the moon by 2020 was "unrealistic" given the additional need for funds. The panel determined that NASA is currently underfunded 3 billion a year to reach that goal.
I usually rail against government spending but this is one area that I say we need to open the checkbooks. Time to pony up!
In the words of my favorite quote from The Right Stuff:
"No bucks? No Buck Rogers"