NASA scientists announced on Monday that they have discovered more water on the moon than they previously believe existed. The water, they believe, is trapped inside tiny beads in the soil near the moon's poles.
NASA believes this could be an important discovery, potentially providing man the ability to access it as a resource in future space exploration efforts. Extraterrestrial water could play a crucial role in providing drinking water for astronauts, or even allowing the extraction of oxygen or production of rocket fuel.
The discovery was made using a space lab not typically utilized to study the moon known as SOPHIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy.
"It's incredible that this discovery came out of what was essentially a test, and now that we know we can do this, we're planning more flights to do more observation,'' said scientist Naseem Rangwala.
While exciting, scientists acknowledge they still have much work to do in determining how much water exists, what form it is in, and if it is something that can be extracted.