(CNN) — NASA said Friday it had discovered water on the moon, opening “a new chapter” that could allow for the development of a lunar space station.
The discovery was announced by project scientist Anthony Colaprete at a midday news conference.
“I’m here today to tell you that indeed, yes, we found water. And we didn’t find just a little bit; we found a significant amount” — about a dozen, two-gallon bucketfuls, he said, holding up several white plastic containers.
The find is based on preliminary data collected when the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, intentionally crashed October 9 into the permanently shadowed region of Cabeus crater near the moon’s south pole.
“If the water that was formed or deposited is billions of years old, these polar cold traps could hold a key to the history and evolution of the solar system, much as an ice core sample taken on Earth reveals ancient data,” NASA said in its statement.
“In addition, water and other compounds represent potential resources that could sustain future lunar exploration.” Read the full report here