Vast stretches of the moon remain unexplored but the most alluring is the lunar South Pole. The region, which was the target of a recent NASA mission that intentionally crashed an unmanned spacecraft to look for frozen water, could be ideal for a future human outpost. Particularly promising are the peaks of Shackleton Crater, which receive almost constant sunlight, potentially supplying future explorers with an ample supply of solar power. The South Pole's Aitken Basin, an eight-mile deep gouge in the lunar crust, ranks as the largest impact crater in the solar system, and could hold water in the form of ice. Many areas of the lunar South Pole are literally frozen in time, holding preserved clues to the formation of our solar system. NASA already has plans to return human explorers to the moon by 2020 to establish an outpost for future missions to Mars. The lunar South Pole could well be the perfect spot.
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