The question of whether the Moon harbours huge reserves of ice water should be answered in about a month. The Lunar Prospector (pictured above in an artist's impression) launched last week by the United States space agency Nasa, has started scouring the lunar surface for possible reserves of water which could prove invaluable for any future human Moon colonies. The four-foot robot explorer is orbiting the Moon 96 km above its surface.
The search for water will be carried out by a neutron spectrometer, which will search the surface for signs of hydrogen.
"If water ice is present in the quantity some people have predicted, we may know that in the first month of the mission," mission manager Scott Hubbard said.