The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) reports that researchers from the Higher School of Economics and the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered one of the mechanisms for how water forms on the Moon.
It is believed that water ice could supply a life support system for the future Russian Lunar Station and that it could also produce hydrogen-oxygen fuel for flights into deep space.
According to the report, scientists have shown that silver hydroxide molecules are released from silicon dioxide in the lunar regolith (soil). These molecules react easily with hydrogen, leading to the formation of water and silver. This means that water molecules can be formed on the Moon.
At this time, the spot price on silver (per kilogram) is US$465.72. It is unknown how much silver is available for mining on the Moon, and which regions may be richest in the mineral.
“It turns out that the water on the Moon can be present not only in cold traps, but also in the near-surface lunar soil,” explained Sergey Popel, one of the study’s authors who serves as Professor of Physics at the Higher School of Economics. Dr. Popel also serves as head of the laboratory at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Based on the study, the value of land on the Moon could increase dramatically over the upcoming months. Plans for private exploration of the Moon and development of its mineral resources has driven prices for Lunar properties up by more than 23% since May 1.