ESA lunar lander's search for volatiles

Morse, A. D.; Barber, S. J.; Pillinger, J. M.; Sheridan, S.; Wright, I. P.; Gibsin, E. K.; Merrifield, J. A.; Waltham, N. R.; Waugh, L. J. and Pillinger, C. T. (2011). ESA lunar lander's search for volatiles. In: 74th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, 8-12 Aug 2011, London, UK.

URL: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/metsoc2011/pdf/53...

Abstract

Following the Apollo era the moon was considered a volatile poor body. Samples collected from the Apollo missions contained only ppm levels of water formed by the interaction of the solar wind with the lunar regolith [1]. However more recent orbiter observations have indicated that water may exist as water ice in cold polar regions buried within craters at concentrations of a few wt. % [2]. Infrared images from M3 on Chandrayaan-1 have been interpreted as showing the presence of hydrated surface minerals with the ongoing hydroxyl/water process feeding cold polar traps. This has been supported by observation of ephemeral features termed “space dew” [3]. Meanwhile laboratory studies indicate that water could be present in appreciable quantities in lunar rocks [4] and could also have a cometary source [5].

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