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Author Topic: Can lunar water be used as drinking water?  (Read 3169 times)

Offline thedoc

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Can lunar water be used as drinking water?
« on: 11/12/2014 13:30:02 »
Sophia Xia asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi, my name's Sophia and I listen to your podcast every time it comes out! At school, I've been entered into a competition which asks that we write an essay about how we think we can provide water for everyone in the world. After listening to your podcast on lunar water, I decided to write my essay on that.

I just have a few small questions about this; you mentioned that a person took a look at lunar rock and discovered there was water; but who was that person? If I listened correctly, I remembered it as Alberto Sull, but I'm pretty sure that's not right!

Another question I have, is can this water really be used as drinking water? And would it be more effective/efficient/cheaper than using thermal distillation to extract drinking water from sea water?

Thank you very much in advance; answering these questions would help me greatly!

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/12/2014 13:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Can lunar water be used as drinking water?
« Reply #1 on: 11/12/2014 15:15:11 »
Quote from: thedoc
Another question I have, is can this water really be used as drinking water? And would it be more effective/efficient/cheaper than using thermal distillation to extract drinking water from sea water?
No. Extracting pure water from sea water is simple. Extracting water from a rock is very difficult.
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Can lunar water be used as drinking water?
« Reply #2 on: 11/12/2014 17:19:11 »
Quote from: thedoc
Another question I have, is can this water really be used as drinking water? And would it be more effective/efficient/cheaper than using thermal distillation to extract drinking water from sea water?
No. Extracting pure water from sea water is simple. Extracting water from a rock is very difficult.

Yes, especially rocks that are so far away. Extracting water from moon rocks is unlikely to help the water shortages on Earth, but could be very useful for any sort of moon colony.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can lunar water be used as drinking water?
« Reply #3 on: 11/12/2014 20:16:36 »
There is ice in some of the polar lunar craters which might serve as a good source of water on the moon.  And water can be easily converted to Oxygen too. 

If we ever chose to colonize the moon, then resources like water and oxygen will be extremely valuable for the people living on the moon, and it should not be wasted to send it back to Earth. 

Building a rocket on Earth, sending it to the moon, and back to Earth would be extremely inefficient.  It is a little more efficient to build rockets on the moon and simply send them to Earth, but it would require a large infrastructure on the moon to do that.

On Earth, consider:
Conservation.,
Re-Use of water
Distillation.
Transporting of water from a wet place to a dry place
Storage of water.

Around here one gets plenty of water...  just not at the right time of year, and there are places that get truly excessive amounts of water dropped in a single storm.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Can lunar water be used as drinking water?
« Reply #4 on: 12/12/2014 10:13:15 »
Presence of water on the Moon was first identified by a satellite put into lunar orbit by the Indian Space Research Organisation, and has since been confirmed by other space probes.

There are some craters on the Moon which lie in permanent shadow, and ice could remain frozen at the very low temperatures which occur during the lunar night.

This would not help humans on Earth obtain drinking water, but it would be a very valuable resource for humans on the Moon (some day!).
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Can lunar water be used as drinking water?
« Reply #5 on: 12/12/2014 12:12:11 »
The best way to provide clean water for everyone is to do nothing. By making fewer babies we could reduce the human population within 100 years to a level where everyone could lead a Western lifestyle for ever.

It won't happen because there is no way anyone can make a profit from it.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2014 12:14:46 by alancalverd »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Can lunar water be used as drinking water?
« Reply #6 on: 13/12/2014 22:33:32 »
There was an interesting item about a new project for converting salt water into drinking water which was discussed on Science in Action this week (BBC World Service). It's a solar panel which can create 15 litres of drinking water a day, and they have a working prototype to prove it. They use heat exchangers to keep as much heat in the system as possible so that they can get it to boil and evaporate water, and they're using direct heating combined with photo voltaics to power a small boiler. Here are links to the programme (item starts at seven and a half minutes in) and to the project's Facebook page.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02dgdhf

https://www.facebook.com/desolenator

This could be invaluable anywhere hot where groundwater is salty. Could be useful on a boat too.

Edit: here's a good page about it - http://phys.org/news/2014-12-desolenator-tech-independence-video.html The video doesn't play, but the text is good.
« Last Edit: 13/12/2014 22:39:54 by David Cooper »
 

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Re: Can lunar water be used as drinking water?
« Reply #6 on: 13/12/2014 22:33:32 »

 

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