Was Russia’s Discovery of Water on Moon in 1976 Ignored?_Featured_, Space Thursday, May 31st, 2012
As far as we in the West have been concerned, the first proof that there might be water up there came in 1994, when the Clementine mission returned results suggesting that there must at least be watery ice beneath the moon’s surface.
However, a Columbia University astrophysicist, Arlin Crotts, has declared that the Russians had secured evidence of moon water as far back as 1976. This evidence was simply ignored by the high-fallutin’ West.
A pulsating treatise offered by MIT’s Technology Review claims that Russia’s Luna 24 mission drilled 2 meters into the moon’s surface, came back with 300 grammes (around 0.66lbs) of rock and found it to be 0.1 percent water.
You’d think, given such evidence, that the whole world would have already been preparing its escape to the moon. Alas, Crotts told Technology Review: “No other author has ever cited the Luna 24 work.”
Why might that have been? Was there a lack of communication between the U.S. and the USSR back then? Well, perhaps a little.
But Crotts explained that the findings were published in a Russian journal called Geokhimiia, which no one in the West actually read.
He describes, among other things, how one NASA project involved smashing an empty rocket stage into a moon crater to see what sort of substances would emerge. Water was, indeed, one. But so was carbon monoxide.
Now, he says, the belief is that the moon is significantly wet is generally accepted.
“As recently as 2006 the settled value for the lunar bulk water content was below 1 part per billion. Most values now discussed well exceed 1 part per million,” he told Technology Review.