When a stream of charged particles known as the solar wind careens into the Moon’s surface at nearly 280 miles per second (450 kilometers per second), it enriches it in ingredients that could make water. Planetary scientists Jason McLain and William Farrell use an ion gun at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to shoot simulated solar wind at Moon soil collected by astronauts during the Apollo program. They are testing how this process works at the Moon and the chemical signatures it leaves behind.

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff

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The distance to the Moon is measured to a precision of a few centimeters by bouncing laser beams off reflectors placed there by the Apollo astronauts.

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