A year after NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) smashed into the surface of the moon, astronomers have confirmed that lunar craters can be rich reservoirs of water ice, plus a pharmacopoeia of other surprising substances.
On 9 October 2009, the LCROSS mission sent a spent Centaur rocket crashing into Cabeus crater near the moon's south pole, a spot previous observations had shown to be loaded with hydrogen. A second spacecraft flew through the cloud of debris kicked up by the explosion to search for signs of water and other ingredients of lunar soil.
Given the total amount of soil blown out of the crater, astronomers estimate that 5.6 percent of the soil in the LCROSS impact site is water ice.
NASA video: LRO Observes the LCROSS Impact
NASA press release: NASA Missions Uncover The Moon's Buried Treasures
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