back to article It's official – satellite spots water ice at the Moon's chilly poles

Ancient water ice is hidden on the surface dotted around craters on the Moon’s poles, scientists have confirmed in a paper on Monday. The idea that the Moon carries water has long been suspected, but never directly observed. Scientists have relied on studying its mineral content to deduce that water does exist on its surface …

  1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Headline is wrong!

    Moon ice is vital for space gin & tonics.

    Tea is only a secondary application, as they can already bring that with them in a thermos. Or alternatively by means of something like the ISS recycling toilet, i.e. "Yesterday's Coffee".

    Now NASA need to find a non-terrestrial source of lime wedges...

    1. Symon Silver badge

      Re: Headline is wrong!

      Lime is for pushing into the neck of a Corona bottle. I need lemon! FWIW, the kids are drinking G&T with ginger. I don't know...

      1. D@v3

        Re: Ginger in Gin

        At the Gin festival i went to, different Gins came with different accompaniments, ( apparantly as to not clash with the blend). Some came with lemon, others, ginger, or basil, or even peppercorns or chilli. Different Tonics too.

    2. Annihilator

      Re: Headline is wrong!

      Ah but a Thermos can also keep cold things cold. It’s why I’ve got soup and icecream in mine today...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Headline is wrong!

        Mmmmm. Straberry and tomato soup. Yummy!

        Or do you mean gazpacho and baked Alaska?

  2. Khaptain Silver badge


    Now all we have to do is learn how to breath on the moon........

    1. Symon Silver badge

      Re: Excellent

      Breath --- Noun.

      Breathe --- Verb.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >> Maybe future astronauts can finally enjoy a nice cuppa

    Don't forget the cheese and crackers, Gromit.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: Cheese

      So... that cooker really could go skiing?

  4. WibbleMe

    Perhaps it could be better described as mildew or frost from earths atmosphere

    However the race is now of to see who can dump the first plastic on the Moon.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      However the race is now of to see who can dump the first plastic on the Moon.

      I think NASA already has already won that prize... leaving the landers aside, the flags planted there also contained nylon.

      1. hplasm Silver badge

        Re: However the race is now of to see who can dump the first plastic on the Moon.

        Don't forget the bog bags , overshoes etc under the landers...

    2. LeeE Silver badge

      "...dump the first plastic on the Moon."

      You get a lot of UV on the surface of the Moon, so a lot of the plastic will break down relatively quickly.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        "You get a lot of UV on the surface of the Moon, so a lot of the plastic will break down relatively quickly."

        That could be an excellent solution to the problems on Earth, increase the UV by breaking don the Ozone layer..... oh wait ......haven't we already made an attempt at that.

      2. Alan_Peery

        But how much will it break down in vacuum, even with the intense sunshine?

  5. annodomini2


    Some water company going there and bringing it back for the super-rich, un drunk water $100,000 a litre or some other ridiculous amount.

    Most of the water on Earth has been drunk at least 10 times over time.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Awaits...

      Most of the water on Earth has been drunk at least 10 times over time.

      Most El Reg readers have been drunk at least 10 times over time.


      1. Bangem

        Re: Awaits...

        I wonder if I've been drunk more than once using the same water and hops molecules?!

        How deep does this rabbit hole go?

        1. WibbleMe

          Re: Awaits...

          Well if you live in a city like London then the sewer piss is recycled about 3 times on adv, enjoy your next drink of water.

          1. annodomini2

            Re: Awaits...

            Depends what generic lager someone drinks hard to tell the difference between that and piss.

  6. Geekpride

    New mission

    These areas of water ice sound like a good target for a future rover mission. It'd have to be an RTG powered one, maybe similar to the Curiosity rover. Let's investigate and research the ice before trying to exploit it as a resource.

  7. Alowe

    It's been official for over ten years. Why is news so old?

  8. Bangem

    30 year old knowledge

    If we'd had kept sending humans to the Moon we'd have known this 30/40 years ago. This perfectly illustrates that there no better geologist than the geologist that is actually in the field.

    Lets start putting humans back into space exploration. Relying on satellites and drones absolutely reduces risk but it slows down the pace of learning clearly.

  9. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    You really don't want chilly poles in Uranus.

  10. old_IT_guy

    "The Moon is hypothesized to have rotated on its current axis two to three billion years ago"

    Um, isn't it still rotating on it's axis? It's tidally locked to us, that's why we get to see the same face when the moon is up, that requires that it's rotation period match ours...

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: rotating on it's axis

      > that requires that it's rotation period match ours...

      No. Rethink that one.

      1. old_IT_guy

        Re: rotating on it's axis

        Oh yes, requires it's rotation-on-its-axis period match its orbit-round-earth period :)

  11. h4rm0ny
    Paris Hilton

    No water added in the last 2bn years.

    Why was water accumulating on the moon before its axis shifted? And why did it stop afterwards?

  12. Geekpride

    I'd like to see more human exploration of space, but this isn't really a good argument for it. Satellites and drones don't just reduce risk, they're also a lot less expensive than sending humans. Humans need bigger craft to move around in, additional systems for life support, additional weight for drinking water, food etc - the list goes on.

    I'd say to keep sending out the satellites, landers and rovers as a way to find the really interesting stuff, but then think about sending humans to investigate the most promising areas.

  13. Alowe

    I saw this in the news about 5 years ago. Deja vu!

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