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Moon NASA Robotics Space

NASA and Astrobotic Investigating Ice Hunting Mission to the Moon 46

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the repurposed-as-newt's-moon-scooter dept.
Zothecula writes, quoting Gizmodo "While the Moon may or may not contain life forms, precious metals or even green cheese, recent satellite missions have indicated that it does nonetheless contain something that could prove quite valuable — water ice. NASA has estimated that at least 650 million tons (600 million tonnes) of the stuff could be deposited in craters near the Moon's north pole alone. If mined, it could conceivably serve as a source of life support for future lunar bases, or it could be used to produce fuel for spacecraft stopping at a "lunar gas station." Before any mining can happen, however, we need to learn more about the ice. That's why NASA has contracted Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology to determine if its Polaris rover robot could be used for ice prospecting."
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NASA and Astrobotic Investigating Ice Hunting Mission to the Moon

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  • Re:Impressive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:30PM (#39797171) Journal
    I don't believe that NASA is planning on moving 6 billion people to the moon. 650 million tons of ice is plenty for a few hundred person colony or refueling station. Plus I doubt that they would be watering lawns, taking long bubble baths, or washing their cars. So if each person uses 90 tons of ice, and assuming no recycling, then: 650,000,000 tons of ice / 90 tons of eater per American per year = 7,222,222.222 years of water for one person for one year. One hundred people can live on the moon for 72,222 years or so.
  • by perpenso (1613749) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:38PM (#39797293)
    Well sending robots is the first step. Even NASA did so in the 1960s. The Surveyor program tested technology, landing, and various other things before the Apollo program sent the humans. One of the Apollo missions landed within a couple of hundred meters of one of the Surveyor missions. The astronauts visited the robot and brought back one of its cameras.

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