NASA Audio File

Water on the Moon, Drought on Earth
NASA's most recent missions to the moon have uncovered startling new information, including the confirmation of water in a permanently shadowed crater. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, now circling the moon, also is mapping Earth's dusty satellite in unprecedented detail from many perspectives. NASA's Chief Lunar Scientist Michael Wargo describes what we've discovered this year and previews next directions.

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TRT: 2:15

Michael Wargo
Chief Lunar Scientist
NASA Headquarters

CUT 1 (:39) –Wargo: Well overall both of these missions have been highly successful, so far. The fact that LCross was able to confirm the presence of water in these permanently shadowed regions has significant scientific implications. It confirms prior theories and it gives us potential to have resources to us when we continue to explore beyond lower earth orbit.
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CUT 2 (:28) – Wargo: Is in its mapping phases now and is just revealing a wealth of new information about the moon that is important to both science and exploration. Scientist are just giddy with their excitement when they see these dramatic photographs that are coming back from our narrow angle camera and when we confirm that we are seeing some of the coldest places in the solar system it get them thinking in a new way about earth’s closet neighbor.
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CUT 3 (:28) – Wargo: The real beauty of both of these missions is that NASA is using the best it has to get the information it needs to continue to explore we knew that the scientific community was the place to go to get the experts and about how to make the measurements on the moon that we’ll need to explore safely and effectively as we go beyond lower earth orbit and LRO is delivering in space.
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CUT 4 (:42) – Wargo: LRO, since we knew to was going to be valuable to exploration and to science – the initial year that its going to be in operation is focused on making measurements that are important to exploration, but we also know that it’s important to scientists too. As we move beyond that first year the emphasis will shift to science and then we’ll be able to focus on those scientific questions that can be answered with the really powerful instruments that we have on LRO. During that time period we’ll…in addition be able to take that information and will also be beneficial for exploration. So exploration is supporting science and science is supporting exploration.
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