Water on the Moon!
Huntington Beach, Nov 13, 2009 - This changes everything. Today NASA announced the preliminary results from their Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission which impacted the moon last month. The scientists announced finding significant amounts of water and other unexpected compounds. Congratulations to the LCROSS (and LRO) team for a job well done.
The scientists are still working out the details, and I look forward to seeing the full results. But the information made public today makes our next step is clear - we will need to determine if water deposits like this are unusual or widespread. If water deposits are extensive, then this is an extremely electrifying find.
Why all this excitement about a little water? With water, we can establish self-sustaining settlements on the moon, and we can expand humanity permanently into the solar system. The solar system has vast resources that can support life, and improve life here on Earth. And by expanding civilization beyond Earth, we reduce the chance that a single catastrophe could destroy humankind.
There is still a lot of science that needs to be done, but this is an incredible moment for humanity. America needs to continue to lead in human spaceflight. Whether we follow the flexible path, or go to the moon directly, America must continue to explore space. We must reach for the moon, Mars and beyond.