Researchers Estimate Ice Content of Crater at Moon's South Pole

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has returned data indicating ice may make up as much as 22 percent of the surface material in a crater located on the moon’s south pole.

The team of NASA and university scientists using laser light from LRO’s laser altimeter examined the floor of Shackleton crater. They found the crater’s floor is brighter than those of other nearby craters, which is consistent with the presence of ice. This information will help researchers understand crater formation and study other uncharted areas of the moon. The findings are published in the journal Nature.

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This story features the lunar exploration mission LRO and is directly related to NASA Now: Lunar Mathematics and Mapping, as well as the NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson “Engineering Design Process: On the Moon.” To view this edition of NASA Now or to use this lesson in your classroom, visit: