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Ice store at Moon's South Pole is a myth: study
AFP ^ | 10/19/06

Posted on 10/19/2006 6:41:12 AM PDT by presidio9

Hopes that the Moon's South Pole has a vast hoard of ice that could be used to establish a lunar colony are sadly unfounded, a new study says.

In 1994, radar echoes sent back in an experiment involving a US orbiter called Clementine appeared to show that a treasure trove of frozen water lay below the dust in craters near the lunar South Pole that were permanently shaded from the Sun.

If so, such a find would be an invaluable boost to colonisation, as the ice could be used to provide water as well as hydrogen as fuel. NASA is looking closely at the South Pole as a potential site for the United States' return mission to the Moon, scheduled to take place by 2020.

But a paper published in the British science journal Nature on Thursday by a US team says the Clementine data most probably was misinterpreted.

Donald Campbell of Washington's Smithsonian Institution and colleagues collected radar images of the Moon's South Pole to a resolution of 20 metres (65 feet), looking especially at Shackleton crater, which had generated most interest.

The team found that a particular radar signature called the circular polarization ratio -- which in the Clementine experiment was taken to indicate thick deposits of ice -- could also be created by echoes from the rough terrain and walls of impact craters.

The signature was found in both sunny and permanently shady areas of crater, which suggests that the reflection comes from rocky debris, not thick ice deposits.

If there is any ice at the South Pole, it probably comes from tiny, scattered grains that probably account for only one or two percent of the local dust, the authors suggest.

"Any planning for future exploitation of hydrogen at the Moon's South Pole should be constrained by this low average abundance rather than by the expectation of localised deposits at higher concentrations," the paper says soberly.

The research involved sending a radar signal from the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. The signal hit the southern lunar region and the reflection was picked up by the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.


TOPICS: Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brianboitano; getchoasstomahz; headygoodness; icepirates; wwbbd
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1 posted on 10/19/2006 6:41:14 AM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9

Not a huge problem, sending water to the moon is relatively cheap and simply, ya just lob a big chunk of it (ice) to the moon, and let it crash there.


2 posted on 10/19/2006 6:42:44 AM PDT by Paradox (American Conservatives: Keeping the world safe for Liberalism.)
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To: Paradox

True. It's just the "lobbing" part that's the hitch.


3 posted on 10/19/2006 6:45:00 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: presidio9
Meanwhile, the ESA is planning a secret mission to claim the water they told the rest of the world is not there...

Hey, I can create conspiracy theories with the best of them.

4 posted on 10/19/2006 6:45:23 AM PDT by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: Paradox

It costs about $100K per kilo to "lob" something into orbit, let alone sending it to the Moon.


5 posted on 10/19/2006 6:46:18 AM PDT by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: Paradox

Simple....you just use my plan for terraforming Mars.....

Oh but I havent patented it yet...sorry.


6 posted on 10/19/2006 6:46:42 AM PDT by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: presidio9

So, the jury is still out.
The value of the poles for settlement is that there is constant sunlight available for backup solar power.


7 posted on 10/19/2006 6:47:03 AM PDT by mrsmith
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To: presidio9
Wow, a supply of water. It supplies oxygen and hydrogen. We can breath the oxygen and burn the hydrogen. Oh, wait a minute. We need energy to seperate the hydrogen and oxygen in water, Then we need oxygen to let hydrogen burn. But we breathed some of the oxygen so it is not available to burn.

This article is pure BS. We need more engineers as reporters.

8 posted on 10/19/2006 6:48:04 AM PDT by american_ranger
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To: Junior

That will be cut significantly by the space elevator. If that fails then a really big slingshot will obviously be the solution.


9 posted on 10/19/2006 6:48:55 AM PDT by east1234 (It's the borders stupid. It's also WWIV.)
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To: presidio9

Global warming, no doubt..........


10 posted on 10/19/2006 6:50:44 AM PDT by Red Badger (CONGRESS NEEDS TO BE DE-FOLEY-ATED...............................)
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To: presidio9
Dunno, zooming in at Google Moon shows the following:


11 posted on 10/19/2006 6:51:20 AM PDT by mikrofon (Polar Bars also for sale...)
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To: KevinDavis

Ping


12 posted on 10/19/2006 6:51:43 AM PDT by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Junior
"It costs about $100K per kilo to "lob" something into orbit, let alone sending it to the Moon."

It's better to use ice that's already in orbit. Which, coincidentally, there is plenty, along with methane and other useful compounds.

We just need to go and get it. The first group to successfully accomplish that will signal the true dawn of the space age.

13 posted on 10/19/2006 6:52:17 AM PDT by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: presidio9

Why is the federal government looking for more ways to waste money. There is no economic benefit in colonizing the moon. If this country had more money than it knew what to do with (i.e. nobody paid any taxes) I couldn't care less. Instead we are looking for more frivilous ways to spend more money.


14 posted on 10/19/2006 6:52:31 AM PDT by DaGman
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To: presidio9

15 posted on 10/19/2006 6:53:39 AM PDT by itsamelman (“Announcing your plans is a good way to hear God laugh.” -- Al Swearengen)
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To: presidio9

It's not like there is any real reason to return to the Moon. It's just a government make work project, anyway.


16 posted on 10/19/2006 6:53:58 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Moonman62

It's been said that if there were solid concrete on the moon, lunar colonists would want to mine it for its water content.


17 posted on 10/19/2006 6:56:18 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: presidio9

Which reminds me - it's about time to track down a copy of "The Ice Pirates" to rent/buy...


18 posted on 10/19/2006 7:01:57 AM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Expect a lot of democrat poll-smoking between now and 11/7)
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To: presidio9

After the Earth was used up, we found a new solar system and hundreds of new Earths were terraformed and colonized. The central planets formed the Alliance and decided all the planets had to join under their rule. There was some disagreement on that point. After the War, many of the Independents who had fought and lost drifted to the edges of the system, far from Alliance control. Out here, people struggled to get by with the most basic technologies; a ship would bring you work, a gun would help you keep it. A captain's goal was simple: find a crew, find a job, keep flying.


19 posted on 10/19/2006 7:02:21 AM PDT by RebelBanker (It is, however somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.)
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To: Hegemony Cricket

Which reminds me - it's about time to track down a copy of "The Ice Pirates" to rent/buy...

20 posted on 10/19/2006 7:05:28 AM PDT by presidio9 (Make Mohammed's day: Shoot a nun in the back.)
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To: RebelBanker

Thank you for the fine quote from Firefly. This was the single most important storyline in the history of drama. It depicted free people living lives of integrity outside the structure of Big Brother. No wonder it was cancelled.


21 posted on 10/19/2006 7:08:57 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (Here come I, gravitas in tow.)
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To: presidio9

Not that ice pirate, but thanks for playing... :-)


22 posted on 10/19/2006 7:10:37 AM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Expect a lot of democrat poll-smoking between now and 11/7)
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To: Junior

Is the $100K per kilo based on rocket technology? I'd be very interested in other delivery mechanisms that would be too harsh for humans or electronic equipment, but would work fine on ice or liquid water. I remember the Canadian who was working on Saddam's Supergun originally started his work on using artillery to shoot things into orbit. Since the massive acceleration from such a gun would not be an issue for simple, raw materials, what do you suppose the cost per kilogram would be?


23 posted on 10/19/2006 7:13:06 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Vaquero
If you want to terraform Mars, the first thing you have to do is crank up the gravity to a level that will sustain an atmosphere dense enough to breathe.

Once you've solved that problem, the rest of it should be a piece of cake. =]

24 posted on 10/19/2006 7:13:41 AM PDT by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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To: Hegemony Cricket

Do I detect a young Ron Pearlman in this picture?

25 posted on 10/19/2006 7:17:58 AM PDT by presidio9 (Make Mohammed's day: Shoot a nun in the back.)
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To: presidio9

WWBBD????

26 posted on 10/19/2006 7:21:58 AM PDT by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: presidio9
Apu: Ooh, a head bag! Those are choc-full of... heady goodness!


27 posted on 10/19/2006 7:25:15 AM PDT by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Junior

Find a passing comet full of ice and redirect it to hit the moon (try not to hit the earth while you're doing that).


28 posted on 10/19/2006 7:26:15 AM PDT by Kirkwood
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To: DaGman
"Why is the federal government looking for more ways to waste money. There is no economic benefit in colonizing the moon. If this country had more money than it knew what to do with (i.e. nobody paid any taxes) I couldn't care less. Instead we are looking for more frivilous ways to spend more money."

Because the Moon is the first step to the rest of the solar system, and once we have a station there, we can reach anywhere else we need to go. There is a TREMENDOUS benefit, and not just economic, in doing so. Just ONE little benefit, we could move most industry off-planet, and make the greens happy without having to do the zero-population-growth BS.
29 posted on 10/19/2006 7:27:38 AM PDT by Old Student (We have a name for the people who think indiscriminate killing is fine. They're called "The Bad Guys)
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To: Oberon
If you want to terraform Mars, the first thing you have to do is crank up the gravity to a level that will sustain an atmosphere dense enough to breathe.

I am amazed at how many people think we just need to warm the planet and add atmosphere to get a decent pressure and temperature at the surface. What they fail to understand is that a higher gravity is needed. With the current gravity, warming the planet will result in a loss of atmosphere. With a higher temperature, the Boltzmann distribution of gas molecule speeds will have the high speed tail stretching well past escape velocity with the current gravity on Mars. Warmer Mars = less atmosphere. Or you could jusr dig really, really deep holes so the atmosphere would be of satisfactory pressure. Colonists on Mars would live in deep 'hobbit holes'. The hole depth would increase protection from cosmic radiation, too.

30 posted on 10/19/2006 7:29:37 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: doc30

"What they fail to understand is that a higher gravity is needed. With the current gravity, warming the planet will result in a loss of atmosphere. With a higher temperature, the Boltzmann distribution of gas molecule speeds will have the high speed tail stretching well past escape velocity with the current gravity on Mars. "

Drop enough small asteroids on Mars, (and I'm talking a LOT of them!) and increase the mass while building up the gas pressure and temp, all at once... Of course, we probably ought to look the place over rather carefully first, as there isn't much that would survive the "rain" we caused. (Simplistic solutions for simplistic people...)


31 posted on 10/19/2006 7:52:55 AM PDT by Old Student (We have a name for the people who think indiscriminate killing is fine. They're called "The Bad Guys)
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To: Old Student
Drop enough small asteroids on Mars, (and I'm talking a LOT of them!) and increase the mass while building up the gas pressure and temp, all at once... Of course, we probably ought to look the place over rather carefully first, as there isn't much that would survive the "rain" we caused. (Simplistic solutions for simplistic people...)

You are right, not much would survive adding sufficent mass to increase the gravity of Mars. Such mass would add hundreds of kilometers to the diameter of the planet. Nothing original would remain.

32 posted on 10/19/2006 8:09:58 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: presidio9

Easiest way to make ICE is to take the RICE and take away R and you end up with ICE. Add some algore global warmint and you get water. Add some surplus CO2 and you get club soda. Add some Scotch and civilization is fully suported.


33 posted on 10/19/2006 8:25:26 AM PDT by Leo Carpathian (ffffFReeeePeee!)
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To: Leo Carpathian
Easiest way to make ICE is to take the RICE and take away R and you end up with ICE. Add some algore global warmint and you get water. Add some surplus CO2 and you get club soda. Add some Scotch and civilization is fully suported.

You have obviously given this a lot of thought. Have you applied for a job at NASA yet?

CA....

34 posted on 10/19/2006 8:45:41 AM PDT by Chances Are (Whew! It seems I've once again found that silly grin!)
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To: doc30
I found an ancient article dealing with this:

http://www.allbusiness.com/professional-scientific/scientific-research-development/336939-1.html#

In 1992, it cost $20K per payload kilo while a supergun could do the same job for $500, or about 2.5 percent of the cost of a shuttle launch. If the cost per launch is $100K now (a number I ran across in the past year or so) it would still only cost about $2500.

35 posted on 10/19/2006 9:34:16 AM PDT by Junior (Losing faith in humanity one person at a time.)
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To: Vaquero

That was one of my favorite episodes. I loved it, Hitler blaming the end on the bear, too funny.


36 posted on 10/19/2006 9:37:35 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: presidio9

"Ice store at Moon's South Pole is a myth: study"

D@mn. We were this (holding two fingers really close together) close to getting Ted Kennedy to build a rocket for his fat @ss and a case of scotch.


37 posted on 10/19/2006 9:40:09 AM PDT by exile (Mrs. Exile - "Yes you're the greatest husband ever, now put on some pants")
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To: doc30
"You are right, not much would survive adding sufficent mass to increase the gravity of Mars. Such mass would add hundreds of kilometers to the diameter of the planet. Nothing original would remain."

Oh, most of it would still be there. In itty-bitty-teensy-weensy pieces, but it would still be there...
38 posted on 10/19/2006 11:01:57 AM PDT by Old Student (We have a name for the people who think indiscriminate killing is fine. They're called "The Bad Guys)
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To: Old Student

oh, and under a couple of hundred kilometers of later debris, too...


39 posted on 10/19/2006 11:22:47 AM PDT by Old Student (We have a name for the people who think indiscriminate killing is fine. They're called "The Bad Guys)
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To: Junior

If that's the case, let's start building really, really big guns!!


40 posted on 10/19/2006 11:48:54 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Old Student
Drop enough small asteroids on Mars, (and I'm talking a LOT of them!) and increase the mass while building up the gas pressure and temp...

Of course if you increase the mass of the Moon, you will change the orbital characteristics (and climate, seasons, tides, etc.) of Earth. That's not a trade I want to make.

41 posted on 10/19/2006 12:00:42 PM PDT by seowulf
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To: seowulf

Not only did I not suggest doing this to the moon, the post you quoted me on says specifically "Mars" so I'm not sure where you're going. We were talking about getting Mars to hold on to an atmosphere. The Moon is better off without one, for my purposes. Not to mention that it's lower gravity is a positive, as well. Enough gravity to keep stuff where you put it, not enough to keep from getting to someplace else relatively easily.


42 posted on 10/19/2006 2:39:58 PM PDT by Old Student (We have a name for the people who think indiscriminate killing is fine. They're called "The Bad Guys)
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To: RightWhale; Brett66; xrp; gdc314; anymouse; NonZeroSum; jimkress; discostu; The_Victor; ...

43 posted on 10/19/2006 6:33:29 PM PDT by KevinDavis (Nancy you ignorant Slut!!!!!)
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To: Junior
why don't we just build a really big siphon hose and....HEHE.
44 posted on 10/19/2006 6:43:24 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: presidio9

45 posted on 10/19/2006 7:20:41 PM PDT by free_at_jsl.com
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To: Old Student

I don't think there's enough mass in all the asteroids, combined, to raise Mars' mass that much.

[ http://www.nineplanets.org/earth.html ] Earth mass: 5.972e24 kg

[ http://www.nineplanets.org/mars.html ] Mars mass: 6.4219e23 kg

Okay, now I'm 90 per cent sure.


46 posted on 10/19/2006 7:27:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Dhimmicrati delenda est! https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: presidio9
Water? Its between the moonbase and the larger than safe nuclear waste dump...


47 posted on 10/19/2006 7:37:02 PM PDT by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: Paradox

Wouldn't the ice burn up before it gets into space? And if it is going to be shielded by the rocket, that would seem to make it very expensive.


48 posted on 10/19/2006 7:49:19 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( The BBC HYS is cruddy: many typed comments and not one posted (non-offensive).)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

Shoot.

And I just answered a 'help wanted' email -- they wanted somebody to process payments to the ice store.

Hey, there aren't even any eskimos to buy it down there, are there?


49 posted on 10/19/2006 7:52:25 PM PDT by unspun (What do you think? Please think, before you answer.)
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To: american_ranger
Solar energy could be used for hydrolysis; When hydrogen burns, it is recombined with oxygen to make water; some extra oxygen could be used for breathing (and extra hydrogen could be used in other applications or dumped). It is not such an absurd statement.
50 posted on 10/19/2006 7:52:26 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( The BBC HYS is cruddy: many typed comments and not one posted (non-offensive).)
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