NASA famously bombed the moon last year in a desperate attempt to prove there's water on it. While water was indeed discovered, we have yet to hear any reliable figures on collateral damage to the affected areas or the native population.
It turns out, instead of almost triggering a Earth-Moon war to discover water, NASA scientists could have just walked down the hall.
National Geographic reports that NASA has found water in the moon rocks brought back by Apollo astronauts decades ago.
"The chemical make-up of the water strongly resembles the popular brand Aquafina sold here on earth, so we are investigating whether a) Pepsi, which makes Aquafina, has established a moon base, or b) someone got a little sloppy with their lunch," NASA scientists didn't say.
Actually, they said that advances in technology have allowed them to find minute traces of water that escaped previous notice.
The work proves that the moon-rock water "is not from us," [scientist James Greenwood] said at a presentation of his findings at the 41st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas.
At the presentation, a second team announced the discovery of water in apatite-bearing rocks from one of the moon's mares, dark regions thought to have been formed by ancient lunar lava flows.
As with the water found by the bombing, the amounts are so small that no one is quite sure what it means. Theories abound on the source of the liquid.
The most common guesses center on the moon's earliest days, shortly after it had been created by the collision of a Mars-size object with Earth.
One possibility, according to Wesleyan's Greenwood, is that icy comets hit the molten young moon as it was still solidifying.
Another possibility, said the Carnegie Institution's McCubbin, is that not quite all the water was driven off when chunks of Earth were flung spaceward to form the moon--in other words, the water may be from an ancient version Earth.
Then there's the whole Aquafina thing, which we're not willing to abandon just yet.