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The uncertainty of science: According to this article, the water-ice discovery announced yesterday at Shackleton Crater is insufficient for human settlement.
The latest LRO data indicate “that water is not there … in a way that would facilitate human exploration,” says planetary scientist Maria Zuber, who led the team analyzing the data.
If the signatures the team saw in the soils on the crater floor do indicate water, how much water might there be? Roughly 100 gallons – enough to fill two or three residential rain barrels – spread over a surface of about 133 square miles. Leave the swim-suit at home. “This is not like Mars,” says Dr. Zuber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, in an interview. On the red planet, explorers would find thick layers of icy soil in many locations just by turning over a shovelful or two of topsoil. [emphasis mine]
This story seems to answer my question about Zuber’s participation in the water in Shackleton paper as well as the previous paper saying there is much less water on the Moon than previously believed. It also raises questions about the journalism work of many of the other stories published in the past few days, which heavily touted the possibility of water in Shackleton.
I intend to dig into this story a bit more. Stay tuned.