One paper published in 1978 in Geokhimiia (Geochemistry), the monthly scientific journal of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, pretty definitively declared it had discovered water on the lunar surface in the Mare Crisium crater.
Short for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, NASA's flying telescope is literally a modified 747 aeroplane kitted out with a telescope at the back. It was previously believed that water molecules could only be found in cold, shadowy areas of the lunar surface. But over the past 20 years, missions have confirmed the presence of water ice in dark, permanently shaded craters around the Moon's poles. That water could be a resource to both sustain astronauts and be converted into liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants for spacecraft. NASA's "big Moon news" it was teasing us about is the "unambiguous detection of molecular water (H2O)", which has huge implications for future moon travel.
In a second study, scientists used NASA's airborne infrared observatory SOFIA to conclusively identify water molecules on the sunlit portions of the moon, just outside the polar regions.Most of these molecules are probably stored between moon dust and other particles or locked inside glassy volcanic material. NASA wants to explore the unknown regions of the lunar south pole, potentially using the region as a launching pad for further exploration of the solar system and missions to Mars. He says, "Without a thick atmosphere, water on the sunlit lunar surface should just be lost to space". A new study finds there are 40,000 square kilometres of shadows, mostly near the moon's poles, that could hide ice deposits.
One scientist had in 2009 said that harvesting water from the lunar surface could dramatically reduce the costs of long-term human activities on the Moon.
"Water is a precious resource in space", said Hertz during the teleconference.
There are about that Equivalent to a 350 ml bottle of water in one cubic meter from lunar soil. They compared the findings further to the Sahara desert, saying the desert has 100 times the amount of water then what was discovered on the Moon.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed Monday that water was present on the sunlit surface of the Moon, prompting a flurry of reactions on social media.
In an independent study, U.S. researchers at Colorado University have estimated that hidden pockets of water preserved in the lunar regions of permanent shadow, called "cold traps", could be more common on the Moon than assumed. Using in-situ resources, including water, could make all of that possible much quicker and without requiring much more complicated workarounds, since it forms the basis for not only human survival, but also essential resources for additional missions from the Moon including rocket fuel for launches.
Where has water been found on the moon before?
This is several orders of magnitude too large for most of the water to be adsorbed onto regolith grain surfaces.
But. the other study found that there are lots more places near the poles where the temperatures are cold enough for ice to have stayed frozen for billions of years. "Whether or not these cold traps have water will need some very detailed - probably in situ - surveying of the surface".