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NASA finds water on the moon

The dramatic revelation of a "significant amount" of frozen water found on the moon has been hailed by the jubilant US space agency as heralding a giant leap forward in space exploration.

"The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon," NASA said after the startling find was announced Friday, as ecstatic scientists celebrated the landmark revelation.

Preliminary data, uncovered after NASA sent two spacecraft crashing into the lunar surface last month, indicated the discovery of some two-dozen gallons of water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater.

"Yes indeed we found water and we did not find only a little bit but a significant amount," said Anthony Colaprete, project scientist and principal investigator for the 79-million-dollar LCROSS mission.

"In the 20- to 30-metre crater we found maybe about a dozen, at least, two-gallon buckets of water.

This is an initial result," Colaprete told reporters.

AFP

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