Science & Tech

Studies Suggest More Water Ice on the Moon: ISRO

According to ISRO, a research found evidence for an increased probability of subsurface water ice formation in the Moon’s polar craters. 

Water Ice on the Moon: ISRO’s Findings

  • According to the research, the amount of subsurface ice within the first few metres is around 5-8 times more than that observed on the lunar surface.
  • Furthermore, the study showed that the Northern Polar zone has double the amount of water ice as the Southern Polar region.
  • It emphasises the need of digging to reach this ice for future missions and long-term human presence on the Moon.

Origin of Water Ice:

  • The work supports the notion that subsurface water ice in the lunar poles formed as a result of outgassing during volcanic activity in the Imbrian epoch.
  • It appears that Lunar Mare Volcanism and preferential impact cratering control the distribution of water ice on the Moon. 


  • The study team used seven equipment on the NASA spacecraft Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO): radar, laser, optical, neutron spectrometer, ultraviolet spectrometer, and thermal radiometer. LRO glides above the lunar south pole.
  • These devices gave critical data for determining the origin and distribution of water ice on the lunar surface.

The significance of the findings

  • Accurate information of water ice distribution and depth is critical for selecting appropriate landing and sample locations for future lunar missions.
  • The study supports ISRO’s future plans for in-situ volatile exploration on the Moon, which are consistent with the agency’s overall lunar exploration goals. 

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