NASA boss Jim Bridenstine has laid out his grand vision to use the water on the Moon to power the space exploration of the future.
The agency should launch a new and 'sustainable' mission of human exploration of our nearest neighbour, he said. And the new discovery that there is water ice on the lunar surface is a key part of that mission.
Eventually, it could become something far more spectacular.
He laid out a vision of tugs going back and forth between Earth and the Moon, which would have a space station built around it and serve as a launching point for missions to Mars and deeper into the solar system.
The findings, published on Monday, mark the first time scientists have confirmed by direct observation the presence of water on the moon's surface - in hundreds of patches of ice deposited in the darkest and coldest reaches of its polar regions.
The discovery holds tantalizing implications for efforts to return humans to the moon for the first time in half a century.
The presence of water offers a potentially valuable resource not only for drinking but for producing more rocket fuel and oxygen to breathe.
Bridenstine, a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot and Oklahoma congressman tapped by President Donald Trump in April as Nasa chief, spoke about 'hundreds of billions of tons' of water ice that he said were now known to be available on the lunar surface.
NASA lunar scientist Sarah Noble said separately by phone that it is still unknown how much ice is actually present on the moon and how easy it would be to extract in sufficient quantities to be of practical use.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK