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Analysis of “The Moon: Cold, Wet, and Breathing.”

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Analysis of “The Moon: Cold, Wet, and Breathing.”

The article “Top 100 Stories of 2009 #16: The Moon: Cold, Wet, and Breathing” from DiscoveryMagazine.com discusses the LCROSS mission of 2009. This is a Moon mission conducted to search for the presence of water (Barone 2009). The mission is an important part of the ultimate goal of visiting the Moon and establishing a Moon base (NASA 2005).

The article is written to expand upon what occurred during the LCROSS mission (Barone 2009). LCROSS stands for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Spacecraft. The mission was designed to search for water on the surface of the Moon. Water on the Moon has long been theorized, but previous moon missions have not found any (Lutgens 2008). The plan is to eventually have another manned mission to the Moon and to establish a base, but without water a Moon base cannot be maintained (NASA 2005).

It is known that the surface of the moon that is exposed to the sun doesn’t contain water since the sun breaks it down and evaporates it as hydrogen and oxygen (NASA 2005). Due to the Moon’s unique orbit, there are craters on the Moon that are never exposed to the sun. These are potential sites for water as they are not exposed to the sun and likely haven’t been exposed for billions of years (Barone 2009).

This is the first step in scientific methodology (Lutgens 2008). NASA used experience to form a conjecture and made a prediction. In correct form, NASA approached a single issue so as to eliminate the possibility of outside variables affecting the results. They then predicted that there was water in these craters and thus needed to devise a test to attempt to locate that water.

NASA needed a cheap and effective way to take samples from the...

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... It also contained many other materials that will be useful in the event of a lunar base and it contained what are called volatiles. These are things that are in a gaseous state at room temperature, like methane, hydrogen gas, and carbon dioxide. In the depths of a crater that never sees daylight, the temperature reaches -400⁰F and these are in a solid state (Barone 2009).

The analysis of the material showing water provides hope that a sustainable lunar base can potentially be built on the Moon. The research that could be conducted in long term studies while actually on the surface of the Moon could advance knowledge of the extraterrestrial body exponentially, as well as the field of low gravity research. This article describes research into a subject that turned out to be an important step in a direction that may one day allow mankind to live on the Moon.
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