In very recent news Chandrayaan I has found water on the moon. That line itself should excite everyone with a quarter of a brain, moreover for the patriotic few of us who are proud that the debut mission of the space craft “stumbled upon” such a path breaking discovery, that is if it's substantiated by further missions. But still, the news is pretty much concrete that the spacecraft detected water Ice at both the lunar poles. This was done with the help of a NASA radar, called the M3. It worked on specific wavelength reflections that can only be confirmed by the presence of the H2O chemical bond.
For the pitifully uninitiated, Chandrayaan I is an Indian Spacecraft, which launched in October 2008 for a lunar scientific project. On Thursday last reports were confirmed across agencies that the discovery was made, by NASA and ISRO. “It is a path-breaking finding,” says G. Madhavan Nair, former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). “It is one of the greatest findings from the space exploration.” Since last September such reports were being leaked around and sniffed out, but no one official was commenting, until now.
The possibilities are endless really. Firstly, even before dreams of human settlements and other Asimovian realities taking shape, the more near term advantages are energy oriented. Space crafts can maybe use the water molecules for their fuel cells, stripping the Hydrogen out. Oxygen can be used for Humans too as extended life support on a prolonged mission. Then there are more imaginative thoughts that come to mind, basically H2O is notorious for supporting life in and on our planet for the past gazillion years, so why not the Moon? Further research might reveal some crazier news, you know what I'm talking about.
But then again what is really the implication of water findings? Firstly it means harnessing the molecule for nutritive purposes. Ideas of vegetation come to mind, but then is the sunlight on the moon sufficient to sustain growth? These germs of ideas can only be proven in furthur expeditions, which fortunately are being planned. There are talks of a Chandrayaan II space mission, which should probe deeper and see the physical depth of these ice craters, hopefully bring some of the ice back to earth. Moreover there should be more manned missions, as the water extraction and analysis might need human minds out there itself. Now, once the ice reaches back to earth, the dark sci-fi movie begins. But till then, we are keeping our eyes and ears glued to the wires for more on this “icy” cool development.