February 5, 2023
Ice on the moon?  NASA launches a satellite to investigate the lunar south pole

Ice on the moon? NASA launches a satellite to investigate the lunar south pole

Last Sunday, the 11th, NASA launched a new rocket Satellites in outer space. Called the SmallSat, the device is about the size of a briefcase and will travel for three months until it reaches its target: the moon’s south pole, to search for ice in dark craters. According to a text released by the space agency, SmallSat will be directed from here on Earth. The satellite’s trajectory will go just past the moon and then be slowly pulled by gravity into orbit. There, he will do his job. Keep reading and learn more about the possibility of icing in the moon🇧🇷

Read more: NASA will begin investigating the dark side of the Moon in 2025

Small satellite, huge potential

still in accordance official information from NASA Satellites Not more than the size of a bag. However, it is a very powerful organism for scientists.

SmallSat is equipped with a reflectometer whose four laser beams emit infrared light. With its wavelengths, the space agency will be able to measure whether or not there is ice in this part of the moon. Details: The south pole of the moon has not seen sunlight in billions of years!

The laser works something like this: If waves hit the water or… ice, will be absorbed. However, if you hit any bare rock, dust or gravel, the light will be reflected back to SmallSat.

That is, the greater the absorption of the emitted light, the higher the signal indicating the possibility of the presence of ice in the place.

“We literally take a flashlight to the moon “Shooting lasers at these dark craters to look for specific signs of water ice covering the upper layer of lunar regolith,” said Barbara Cohen, NASA’s principal project investigator in Maryland.

“I am excited to see our mission contribute to our scientific understanding of where water ice is on the Moon and how it got there.”

But wait… is there ice on the moon?

yes! in 2018, NASA He had already come to the conclusion that there are ice deposits at both poles of the Moon.

The masses are distributed unevenly: in the Antarctic, frozen water is more concentrated in craters, while in the Arctic, the ice is wider and more spread out.