Earth from our moon. Credit: NASA.

NASA reports the discovery that there is probably frozen water in several lunar craters. According to their calculations, as much as 22% of the Shackleton crater surface is covered with ice,

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

The discovery was made by the NASA spacecraft “Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter” (LRO). It has been exploring the moon since 2009.

Its primary mission is to be a precursor for future manned missions to the Moon. For this reason, it is equipped with a detailed mapping program that aims to identify safe landing sites, to locate potential resources on the Moon, to measure the radiation, and also to demonstrate new technology (that will perhaps be used in future missions).

The LRO revisited the Apollo landing sites.

The data it collected indicates that the Shackleton crater surface is much brighter than the surfaces of neighboring craters. Which leads to the conclusion of possibly considerate amounts of water ice.

Shackleton crater is named after the Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. It is about 3.2 kilometers deep and 19.3 kilometers wide.

Water Crater Ice