The clementine bistatic radar experiment: Evidence for ice on the moon

Paul D. Spudis, Stu Nozette, Chris Lichtenberg, R. Bonner, W. Ort, Erick Malaret, Mark Robinson, Eugene Shoemaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Ice deposits, derived from comets and water-bearing meteorites hitting the Moon over geological times, have long been postulated to exist in dark areas near the poles of the Moon. The characteristics of radio waves beamed from the Clementine spacecraft into the polar areas, reflected from the Moon's surface, and received on the large dish antennas of the Deep Space Network here on Earth show that roughly the volume of a small lake (∼0.9-1.8 km3) of water ice makes up part of the Moon's surface layer near the south pole. The discovery of ice near the lunar south pole has important ramifications for a permanent return to the Moon. These deposits could be used to manufacture rocket propellant and to support human life on the Moon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalSolar System Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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