Splash! NASA moon crash struck lots of water

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Giorgio
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Post by Giorgio »

Aero wrote:As for using a heated drill, as put forth by Giorgio above, yes, that could work if we find ice sheets under the surface that are not very deep.
I do not think that there is even a small possibility to find some ice sheets on the moon (tought I'll be very happy to be wrong).
In reality we will be happy if the concentration of water in the moon regolith is few part per thousand...

In case water is indeed found in much bigger quantities than few part per thousand (say 5-10 %) but deep in the ground, than one of the way to exctract it would be drill some holes in the ground and inject (or induce) heath in the underground to recover the volatile steam. In vacuum the boiling point of water is around -60C if I remeber correctly.

In case the water is evenly mixed with the moon regolith on the surface or immediate sub-surface, than a processing machine that exctract water in a batch or continuos process can be easyly designed. Just imagine a big boiler that you fill with moon regolith, add heath to it, recover volatile water and discharge it for the next batch.

If, in the worst possible scenario, the water is mixed with the moon regolith in few part per thousand and only deep in the ground, than it might not be economical at all to process it to recover it.

Needless to say that the ideas above are just examples and extreme exemplifications of how a real system to exctract water from the moon regolith might work.

IntLibber
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:28 pm

Post by IntLibber »

I submitted a centennial challenge proposal to NASA to fund a Lunar Water ISRU competition that would include prize money and ongoing supply contracts at exploited locations.

Water on the moon is a big game changer for settlement, enough so that once SpaceX establishes competitive LEO services, it will be worthwhile for companies to start investing their own capital into going to the moon.

Once we get polywell propulsion working, the sky will be the limit!

IntLibber
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:28 pm

Post by IntLibber »

Giorgio wrote:
Aero wrote:As for using a heated drill, as put forth by Giorgio above, yes, that could work if we find ice sheets under the surface that are not very deep.
I do not think that there is even a small possibility to find some ice sheets on the moon (tought I'll be very happy to be wrong).
In reality we will be happy if the concentration of water in the moon regolith is few part per thousand...

In case water is indeed found in much bigger quantities than few part per thousand (say 5-10 %) but deep in the ground, than one of the way to exctract it would be drill some holes in the ground and inject (or induce) heath in the underground to recover the volatile steam. In vacuum the boiling point of water is around -60C if I remeber correctly.

In case the water is evenly mixed with the moon regolith on the surface or immediate sub-surface, than a processing machine that exctract water in a batch or continuos process can be easyly designed. Just imagine a big boiler that you fill with moon regolith, add heath to it, recover volatile water and discharge it for the next batch.

If, in the worst possible scenario, the water is mixed with the moon regolith in few part per thousand and only deep in the ground, than it might not be economical at all to process it to recover it.

Needless to say that the ideas above are just examples and extreme exemplifications of how a real system to exctract water from the moon regolith might work.
Just measuring from the plume, scientists have measured 35 gallons of water kicked up from a 60 meter wide crater, and this doesnt count measurment of the ejecta, just the vapor plume. They'll be coming out with more detailed analysis later.

Giorgio
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Location: China, Italy

Post by Giorgio »

I hope that the final numbers are better than those as 35 gallons of water from the plume of a 60 meter diameter crater gives a water concentration of less than few part per "tenthousands".....

Let's wait for the more detailed analysis and see what comes out.

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

That was just what was kicked up into the air though, not what was distributed through the whole crater. They made a 35 gallon splash.

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Great news for Lunar Bottled Water, Inc.

Giorgio
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Post by Giorgio »

MirariNefas wrote:That was just what was kicked up into the air though, not what was distributed through the whole crater. They made a 35 gallon splash.
True, in my calculations I assumed that the plume was a noticeble percentage of the total volume of the crater, but indeed it might not be the case.

MirariNefas
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Post by MirariNefas »

Just how big was this probe? I assume it wasn't 60 meters in diameter. And how fast was it going? How many gallons would you expect it to kick up if you slammed it into the ocean or an ice sheet?

35 gallons seems like a big splash to me, but I live in the world where people jump in swimming pools and kick up a few gallons at a time. I have no idea what to expect with a fast moving probe impacter.

Giorgio
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Post by Giorgio »

The probe was around 1,5 Tons and at a speed of impact of around 9000 Km/H that's a lot of impact energy, for sure much more than the average people jumping in a swimming pool :)

I found this for the expected crater dimension and ejected mass:
http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/images/impact8.gif

Let's wait final result for the correct data.

kunkmiester
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Post by kunkmiester »

The "probe" IIRC was a Centaur upper stage along for the ride.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

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