What will space travelers drink?
What will space tourists drink? If we need to consumerize the space industry to ultimately mine asteroids, and if we need to mine asteroids in order to expand our growth — not just on Earth but through further exploration — what will we drink on the way there?
From the abstract in Nature: “Regardless of the specific composition or formation mechanism, we conclude that OH/H2O can be present on the Moon under thermal conditions more wide-ranging than previously recognized.”
On Second Thought, the Moon’s Water May Be Widespread and Immobile
The findings could help researchers understand the origin of the Moon’s water and how easy it would be to use as a resource. If the Moon has enough water, and if it’s reasonably convenient to access, future explorers might be able to use it as drinking water or to convert it into hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel or oxygen to breathe.
Sorting out what happens on the Moon could also help researchers understand the sources of water and its long-term storage on other rocky bodies throughout the solar system.
The researchers are still discussing what the findings tell them about the source of the Moon’s water. The results point toward OH and/or H2O being created by the solar wind hitting the lunar surface, though the team didn’t rule out that OH and/or H2O could come from the Moon itself, slowly released from deep inside minerals where it has been locked since the Moon was formed.