AP – This image provided Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 by NASA shows the ejecta plume created by the LCROSS Centaur …
WASHINGTON (AFP) – A "significant amount" of frozen water has been found on the moon, the US space agency said Friday heralding a giant leap forward in space exploration and boosting hopes of a permanent lunar base.
Preliminary data from a dramatic experiment on the moon "indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater," NASA said in a statement.
"The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon," it added, as ecstatic scientists celebrated the landmark discovery.
"Yes indeed we found water and we did not find only a little bit but a significant amount," said Anthony Colaprete, project scientist and principal investigator for the 79-million-dollar LCROSS mission.
The data was found after NASA sent two spacecraft crashing into the lunar surface last month in a dramatic experiment to probe Earth's nearest neighbor for water.
One rocket slammed into the Cabeus crater, near the lunar southern pole, at around 5,600 miles (9,000 kilometers) per hour.
Moon holds key to solar system's secrets
[Source#2 : sciencespaceusmoon]