Lunar Prospector

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The first rocks brought back from the moon indicated that it was a bleak place. But Lunar Prospector found exciting new evidence that it might not be as barren as once thought.

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North American (General)


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exciting. As our first man trip to the moon Waas, the moon looked pretty bleak in the nearly £50 of moon rocks brought back by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. Scientists found hardly any ingredients, like nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide that are essential to support human life. And without the most important of them, water the moon would forever remain hostile to human colonization. Lunar scientists had long theorized that large stores of water might have accumulated on the moon Justus they did on Earth, deposited by the impacts of comets. But they believed in a water near the surface exposed to the sun would have long since evaporated. 1998 NASA launched Lunar Prospector, a small spacecraft designed to orbit the moon pole to pole. It carried ah, highly sensitive spectrometer, a device tuned to detect hydrogen, a possible sign of water to a depth of 3 ft. Even in areas of permanent darkness. And in the darkest craters near the moon's poles, Prospector struck the mother lode. Signs of water up to six billion tons of the stuff. This hint of water changed the game in an instant