After the Moon landings back in the day, I was disappointed that the Moon was pretty much discarded as a destination for future space flights. That seemed to me to be a totally illogical choice. The Moon is the closest celestial body to our planet. We proved we could get there. Why wouldn't we continue to go there and make use of its minerals and space?? If our planet is plagued with these enormous threats to our existence, like global warming, over population, shortage of resources, ad infinitum, why wouldn't we use the Moon as part of dealing with these issues and others? I mean, where else would we go? Its right there!!
Okay, so I was (am??) a little naive and ignored some of the more basic realities. Nevertheless, it still seemed like that old Moon shouldn't just be abandoned, like some old beat-up toy stuffed in the back of your closet!
I do concede that the Moon was never really discarded as an object of scietific interest. NASA and others have always had some sort of lunar research going on. It just didn't include actual "on-site" visits for research, at least not for human beings. Any number of satellites and other probes have been gathering data for years. And that data gathering has finally paid off with something that could affect the future of this old Earth and further travel into Space!!
A few months ago there were two rockets (or whatever they called them) that were sent to deliberately crash into the Moon. The second rocket would be filming the crash of the first and sending back data and images until such time as the second camera crashed into the Moon as well. It was predicted that an enormous "plume of debris" displaced by the rocket, would occur as a result of the crash. What made it exciting for a lot of folks was that it was also predicted that the plume would be visible from Earth! Wow! Wouldn't that be great to personally see a man-made event that was happening right then on the Moon?? Lots and lots of people were ready and eager to witness this historic event.
Sadly, it didn't quite work out the way it was supposed to. Oh, the rockets crashed, the photos were taken and sent back, but the resultant plume was more of a plunk! Much, much smaller than expected, it wasn't even close to visible here at home even with lots of fancy telescopes and such. Very disappointing to those who had waited and watched (and, I imagine, to NASA and other lunar scientists as well!)
I am pleased to annouce right here on my blog (Do I sound like Ed Sullivan? Don't say, "Who?" Look it up!)
Anyway, I am very pleased to let you know that the data images sent back have been studied and analyzed and GUESS WHAT!! They discovered water!! On the Moon!!" WATER! Imagine that! And not just a tea cup of water, its estimated there was more than 25 gallons of water at the site. Now you have to admit that if there was that much water in this one place, it would be extremely likely that there is more water up there just waiting to be discovered!!
Up til now, it was believed that the Moon was as barren as it looked. Little or no point in going back. The seeming lack of water was one of the key elements in decisions to send future manned missions to Mars or beyond and not back to the Moon. Well, it appears that this awesome discovery could very well lead to the revival of manned missions to the Moon. And ultimately to use, mining, settlement...who knows what could result!
Admittedly, it won't happen tomorrow or possibly ever, still Man is too curious to not investigate it further. The upshot of the discovery, if it is borne out to be true and not just a fluke, is that some day, just possibly, "fly me to the moon" will become reality!
Gosh, I wish I could still around to see it!