Yes, we have found ice on the moon, though this isn’t the first lunar surface resource.
The ice hidden below the lunar surface has given boost to the hopes of the explorers. This exploration will make the round travel much cheaper and also provide sufficient amount of water to drink.
On May 28, during the digitally held Lunar Surface Science Virtual Workshop, Jake Bleacher, a geologist and chief exploration scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington, said, “The first and easiest resource that we have there is solar energy.”
Ice will never be the first lunar surface resource used by the humans on the moon, but it’ll be sunlight.
To operate instruments on the lunar surface, energy is the primary requirement. Also, energy will help us to support the long-term moon base that NASA, the space agency, plans to build. Also, by 2024, NASA plans to land humans at the south pole of the moon.
Ice and sunlight are two different resources and both of them are reliable on the alignment of the moon with the sun. The axis on which moon rotates is almost perpendicular to the plane of the solar system. This plane has Earth, Sun and Moon. This axial position and tilt of the Earth are responsible for the seasons. But it is different on the moon.
According to space.com, the daily cycle in the moon is constant.
“The polar location, which was specified by the [Artemis program mandate from the National] Space Council, is enabling because of the existence of the locations of near-permanent sunlight,” Sam Lawrence, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said during his own presentation on the same day. “It is the illumination that’s a resource.”
“We heard a lot about the polar volatiles story and, to be sure, it’s a good one,” Lawrence said. “But it’s the illumination that is the resource we’re actually going after with the Artemis missions.”