Water is the most important resource on Earth and could also be in space. On the Moon, water in the form of ice should be of crucial importance for development. NASA first wants to explore the aquatic resources of our planet’s satellite.
Lunar water for development: NASA’s Artemis mission aims to send astronauts to the Moon in 2024. The goal? Establish a mini station on the surface to build a more sustainable infrastructure. Ultimately, there is talk of an advanced base that will be used to plan future missions to the planet Mars. However, the fact is that the development of a lunar base will require water resources.
Rather abundant on Earth despite certain tensions, water could become one of the main engines of the development of the space economy. We obviously think of water for drinking but also of hydroponic crops or even the production of oxygen. According to a Quartz article published on June 11, 2020, the objective of NASA is none other than to allow the exploitation of the water present on the Moon!
Ensure lunar water reserves: For years there had been strong suspicions about the presence of water on the Moon. In 2018, the hypothesis became a certainty with the discovery of ice reserves at the north and south poles. However, this ice would be found in surface craters that have never been reached by direct sunlight.
Before landing its astronauts on the Moon, NASA first wants to explore the region using a rover. Called Viper, the latter will be sent in 2022 with a very specific mission: to assess the amount of water present at the South Pole, the region planned by the Artemis mission for the establishment of its lunar base. In addition, NASA recently unveiled a CubeSat project aimed at probing the presence of ice inside the famous craters
NASA sets the stage for operations: Recall that recently, NASA proposed a controversial agreement as part of its Artemis mission. It talks about the commercial exploitation of space resources, a concept that conflicts with the 1966 space treaty.
Will we soon see the creation of a water market on the Moon? There is nothing to be 100% sure about. However, a tweet posted on June 8, 2020 by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine suggests that this is entirely possible:
Finally, let us talk about the fact that SpaceX’s recent shipment of astronauts to the ISS has opened the doors to space for private companies. We should also remember that for some time, research and innovation have been largely assumed by these same companies. In any case, if the water of the Moon is exploitable, NASA will surely become a privileged client of the private sector.
Hugues Louissaint is an entrepreneur and writer, living in the US for over a decade. He has launched successful products such the Marabou Coffee brand, which has been highly successful in Florida. He has also been a writer for more than 5 years focusing on science, technology, and health. He writes part-time for the Scientific Origin and provides valuable input on a wide range of subjects.