Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Water on the Moon! by Michio Kaku

I have to admit, this article jumped out at me. Not because I am a space nut, but because my students and I read an initial article a few weeks ago in Time for Kids. Many of my students had questions after reading the article, such as did they find water?

Reading this article provides this answer, and so much more. It would have been worth it had the author just mentioned that they found 24 gallons of water. That would have been worth the read to satisfy our curiosity. What made it more facinating was that the author goes on to explain exactly why this find is so significant and ties in the economic savings of finding ice on the Moon. There is a high cost to send missions to the moon; every ounce of cargo counts. Not having to bring excess water or fuel is a huge savings. Fuel? Apparently the hydrogen in the ice can be used to create rocket fuel to get back to Earth. Brings to mind images of the end of Back to the Future, when the professor puts the banana peel in the new Mr. Whatever attachment on the car that converts the energy to fuel to power the time machine/sports car.

I certainly plan to use this article to not only answer my students curiosities from a few weeks ago, but to also spur some discussion about where science is going, and what might be possible for them in the not so distant future! This could be the springboard for a nice problem solving activity in which groups design future space travel and what communities on the moon might look like? We used to do fun things like this in school. We need to get back to it :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment