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The Question

(Submitted December 27, 1998)

Lunar Prospector has confirmed the existence of ice on the Moon. Ancient impacts are the likely source of this ice. We have at our doorstep a possible repository of our primordial solar system. Is there any evidence of other chemicals present within the ice? Are there any plans or discussions to send a probe to return a sample of this ice to Earth for analysis?

The Answer

I agree, the discovery of ice on the moon was a major breakthrough.

You can find information on the Lunar Prospector mission and results at: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunarprosp.html

NASA has a web site about future lunar missions which can be found at: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/expmoon/future/future.html

Hope this helps,
Mike Arida
for Ask an Astrophysicist

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