By Daniel Strain

Principal investigator
Paul Hayne


Collaboration + support
CU Boulder Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences; Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP); Planetary Science Institute; Weizmann Institute of Science

Good news for thirsty astronauts: Hidden pockets of ice might be much more common on the surface of the moon than scientists once suspected. That’s the conclusion of new research led by Paul Hayne, assistant professor in the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).

Hayne and his colleagues examined the moon’s cold traps, or dark and shadowy regions of the lunar surface that might be capable of harboring water ice. And, the team estimates, there might be a huge number of these nooks and crannies spread across the moon—potentially 15,000 square feet of them, some just the size of pennies and others much larger.

“If we’re right, water is going to be more accessible for drinking water, for rocket fuel, everything that NASA needs water for,” Hayne said.

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