Ice Found On The Moon

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: A Pentagon spacecraft has detected frozen water on the Moon's surface, a discovery which pushes man's dreams of living on the Moon forward an Armstrong-like leap. Pentagon scientists said Tuesday that the unmanned Clementine spacecraft indicates a huge "dirty lake" exists as a frozen slurry in deeply shadowed areas of a giant crater. "If you could wish for any one thing there to make it easier to explore with, it would be water," said Anthony Cook, astronomical observer at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. "With water there you could have enclosed areas to grow plants, grow your own food, make your own fuel, make your own air. You don't have to launch all that stuff from big rockets on the Earth." The Pentagon used radar signals to examine the depths of the moon's deep craters. The indication of ice came from a crater as the South Pole that is never touched by sunlight. At the center of the area is a peak that is lighted about 85 percent of the time, making it possible to build a station on the moon near the bright spot and use solar-powered electricity to mine the water. The "ice formation" is "the size of a small lake" that is tens of feet deep, said Rick Lehner, spokesman for the Pentagon's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. Why the Pentagon? Because the $75 million Clementine was designed to track missiles and test "Star Wars" sensors. Yet it succeeded where six Apollo missions had failed, confirming not only that ice resided on the moon's surface, but that the frozen substance was indeed water, and not another liquid or gas. And so the nearby moon, as though jealous of our recent fascination with Mars, has re-ignited visions of a most familiar space alien: us.