We will need to find efficient ways to produce resources if we are to send humans to the moon for longer stays than a few days. Finding a convenient source of water on the moon has become a key topic of interest for space agencies in the last few years. The good news is that there is water ice at the moon's poles, and there could be ice deposits in craters near the poles as well. In 2020 NASA announced a major finding that water had been detected on the moon's sunlit surface.

The University of Colorado Boulder has found that there could be thick sheets of ice on the moon. The team used computer modeling to show that volcanic activity could have thrown out large amounts of water vapor, which then settled on the surface and froze.

Scientists believe that the moon's snakelike Schroeter's Valley was created by lava flowing over the surface.
Scientists believe that the moon’s snakelike Schroeter’s Valley was created by lava flowing over the surface. NASA Johnson

Andrew Wilcoski, lead author of the new study, said it was a frost on the moon that built up over time. It is possible that there are large sheets of ice below the moon's surface.

There could be more water ice on the moon than was thought, hidden in tiny patches which stay in permanent darkness and aren't exposed to sunlight. They weren't sure where the ice came from. The eruptions that peaked on the moon between 3 and 4 billion years ago left marks that are still visible today, such as valley formations created by lava moving across the surface after being expelled. Water vapor and carbon dioxide would have been released by the volcanoes.

This work is based on models, so we will have to search for ice if it's real. NASA is planning to use the lunar VIPER rover to develop technologies for ice drilling on the moon. To find this resource, we need to drill down and look for it.

The research was published in a journal.

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