GLXP Teams are Thirsty for the Moon

Water, water everywhere...

Yesterday brought us the exciting official news of water on the Moon, as well as in 5 craters on Mars (via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). The water news has been flowing, and since this is the Google Lunar X PRIZE blog, we'd like to briefly comment on what this news might mean for the competition.

The news about water on the Moon is astounding and scientifically fascinating -- we now know that the water is not just isolated to the lunar poles as scientists had previously speculated, but instead is interlaced with the lunar soil in many locations, kind of like mold on a giant moon cheese wheel.



While the current water quantities being discussed are not exactly at the levels required to benefit a lunar base, lower costs by reducing the amount of H2O launched from Earth, or to start creating rocket fuel (yet), the scientifically groundbreaking news provides intriguing possibilities for larger quantities of water to exist as shallow subsurface ice, likely at the poles. Revealing water ice in significant quantities on the Moon could truly be a turning point in space exploration, not to mention the scientific benefits to be gleaned from understanding what form the water takes on the lunar surface and how it got there in the first place. This all begs the question: how will the Google Lunar X PRIZE teams play a role in this important quest for water?

Now is truly a critical time for commercial space to develop robotic exploration capabilities in order to support future scientific and exploration efforts, to the Moon and beyond. The Google Lunar X PRIZE challenges private enterprise to return to the Moon -- and stay there. With water on the lunar surface, this now offers exciting new opportunities for the teams to explore, conduct valuable research, and perform operations that will be critical to the future of exploration. The timing of the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition with the announcement of water on the Moon is incredibly exciting.

Stay tuned for the next chapter of the story which happens on October 9th -- the LCROSS collision into one of the permanently shadowed areas of the lunar South Pole. This will be another important key to unlocking the secrets of the mysterious Moon mistress.

Finally, we should also note that the moon water announcement was big news for the MoonPie industry, providing inexorable proof against the widely-held opinion that the treats were devoid of all water content, and "as dry as lunar regolith". The water findings today have proven that the MoonPie likely has trace amounts of water in it, although overall is still about as dry as the Arizona Desert.

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