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  • The illustration from NASA shows the moon's Clavius Crater with an illustration depicting water trapped in the lunar soil there, along with an image of NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    The illustration from NASA shows the moon's Clavius Crater with an illustration depicting water trapped in the lunar soil there, along with an image of NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) | Photo: NASA

Published 26 October 2020 (6 hours 9 minutes ago)
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This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places, said NASA.

NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the moon, the agency announced on Monday.

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This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places, said NASA.

"We confirmed water on the sunlit surface of the Moon for the 1st time using @SOFIAtelescope. We don't know yet if we can use it as a resource, but learning about water on the Moon is key for our #Artemis exploration plans," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted.

SOFIA's follow-up flights will look for water in additional sunlit locations and during different lunar phases to learn more about how the water is produced, stored, and moved across the moon. The data will add to the work of future moon missions, to create the first water resource maps of the moon for future human space exploration, according to NASA.

SOFIA is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center.

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