Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fly Me To The Moon

The Sea of Tranquility may be a sea after all. It’s been all over the news this week that contrary to previous reports, there is water on the moon. Indications from LCROSS (Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite), the satellite that was deliberately smashed into the moon a few weeks ago, are that there is a significant amount of water underlying those lunar craters.

In response to the findings, astronaut Buzz Aldrin said, “This is a welcome confirmation of what we have long and confidently suspected, but it does not suggest a commercial Gold Rush, or make that a Water Rush, to the moon." Maybe not, but I can’t help but wonder how long it will take the people of the water-poor Southwest to contact NASA. That may be good news for us in the Great Lakes region as developers can now look toward the moon for water to keep lawns green and swimming pools filled instead of using our Great Lakes water.

That is said a bit tongue in cheek (although it is a tongue that thirsts for water and a cheek in need of continual moisture). More importantly, the presence of water on the moon opens up the possibility of further exploration of the moon and the rest of the solar system. As stated on the NASA website:

Just like on Earth, water will be a crucial resource on the moon. Transporting water and other goods from Earth to the moon’s surface is expensive. Finding natural resources, such as water ice, on the moon could help expedite lunar exploration. The LCROSS mission will search for water, using information learned from the Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions.

In time we will discover about the moon’s water- how much there is, what kinds of impurities it contains, what it tastes like, and more, but it is fascinating to learn this about that big ball that floats above our earth. Will they also discover that the moon is really made of cheese? That would mean one less thing to transport across 93,000 miles, and one can easily live on water and cheese. I wonder what effect that would have on the Wisconsin dairy industry?

No comments: