Photo by: Tom Glenn/NASA

Tom Glenn/NASA

Water Molecules Found on Sunlit Surface of the Moon!

Breaking News! At 12P ET today, October 26, NASA announced a new discovery about the Moon. Here are the agency’s findings resulting from the world’s largest airborne observatory, SOFIA.

October 26, 2020

Keeping its eye on the Moon, NASA’s efforts to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 through Project Artemis continues to become a reality with its newest scientific discovery about the lunar surface. This new finding pushes forward the agency’s drive for deep space exploration.

The science behind today’s announcement results from use of SOFIA, a flying observatory aboard a modified 747 jet. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, an American-German partnership, first took flight in 2007. The “astronomy facility” soars high above at 43,000 feet for about 10 hours at a time and studies objects in our solar system through the use of infrared light.

SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center. The aircraft is based at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center's Hangar 703, in Palmdale, California.

Photo by: NASA

NASA

SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center. The aircraft is based at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center's Hangar 703, in Palmdale, California.

At 12P ET today, October 26, it was announced that NASA has discovered, with the use of a giant flying telescope, water molecules on the sunlit surface of the Moon. Currently, the water is trapped in glass beads hidden between grains and protected from the Moon’s harsh environment within the Clavius Crater. It is unknown at this time if the water can be used. There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered; however, this is big news for space exploration. If the water can be utilized, the possibilities are endless for accessible drinking water, rocket fuel, and more on the Moon!

Next Up

NASA and SpaceX are Going on a Date, and We're All Invited

Save the date--On May 27th, if everything goes as planned, a rocket will launch from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Watch SPACE LAUNCH LIVE: AMERICA RETURNS TO SPACE on Discovery and Science Channel starting at 2P ET.

Meet the Not-So-Secret Space Airplane

The United States Space Force may have a somewhat silly name, but it's very, very real. And it just launched a semi-secret mission into space.

Large Rocket Debris Impacts Earth Off African Coast

The fourth largest piece of space debris ever re-entered the earth's atmosphere yesterday and made a splash just off the coast of Africa. Narrowly missing some major landmarks in its path, this piece of a rocket could have caused some major damage.

The 5 Greatest Robotic Space Explorers

Our little silicon friends have been exploring the harshest environments in the universe - space itself - in humanity’s name for decades. And while tales of their robotic exploits could fill an entire book, let’s count down the top five.

NASA’s Giant Rocket Test Fails (Sort Of)

It was all supposed to be great. On January 16th, NASA performed its first major test run in a long, long time. It was a test for the core stage of its upcoming Space Launch System (SLS), a beast of a rocket that will carry astronauts to the Moon, Mars, and more.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Undocked and Ready to Return

NASA Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley return to Earth somewhere in the ocean near Florida after just over two months at the International Space Station. The first step was completed today at around 7:30 P ET, with a successful undocking from ISS. Follow the journey on SPACE LAUNCH LIVE: SPLASHDOWN on Discovery on August 2 starting at 1P ET.

September: What's New In Space Exploration This Month?

Below are some exciting space exploration highlights!

SpaceX Test Flight Ends in Explosion

An experimental rocket launched by SpaceX on Wednesday, December 9 exploded after launching 8 miles into the air. Elon Musk says that this test was still a success.

First Week Complete for Crew-1 Astronauts

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched in a new Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket on November 15, 2020, at 7:27P ET from the NASA Kennedy Launch Complex 39A. After a 27-hour journey, the spacecraft docked with the ISS on November 16, 2020, at 11:01P ET. Let’s see what the astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission have been up to since their arrival to the station!

Expedition 63 to Return Home on October 21

After 196 days in space aboard the ISS, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anatoli Ivanishin, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Ivan Vagner are coming home! Let’s learn the details of their return to Earth.
Related To: