Using data from the Chandrayaan-I spacecraft, that was launched by India 10 years ago, NASA on Tuesday said that scientists have found frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the Moon’s polar regions.
Scientists used data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to identify three specific signatures that definitively prove there is water ice at the surface of the Moon.
According to the study published in the journal PNAS, the ice deposits are patchily distributed and could possibly be ancient.
The study said with enough ice sitting at the surface within the top few millimetres water would possibly be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and even stay on the Moon.
Most of the newfound water ice lies in the shadows of craters near the poles, where the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 156 degrees Celsius.
Due to the very small tilt of the Moon’s rotation axis, sunlight never reaches these regions.