The Abstract Podcast

Lunar water: Solving the biggest mysteries in the solar system

In this episode, we explain how new discoveries are shaping the future of space travel.

Full Moon
Alexander Rieber / EyeEm / Getty Images

As part of NASA's upcoming Artemis mission, the space agency wants to build a permanent base on the Moon that will help astronauts reach further into the cosmos.

Critical for these journeys into space? Water. Having enough lunar H20 could make interstellar travel considerably cheaper and easier. And, in a game-changing discovery, scientists have finally found the best evidence yet that not only is there water on the Moon — but there’s plenty of it.

While the lunar finding helps us venture farther from Earth, shocking new evidence about Pluto’s terrain reveals that it’s a lot more like our home planet than we previously thought.

Discovering that the ice on Pluto is made not of water, but of frozen methane, scientists have finally solved the mystery of Pluto's snowcapped mountains — revealing a mind-blowing and totally unique climatic process for the very first time.

As we continue to search for familiar and foreign landscapes in space, new breakthroughs about climate and natural resources not only help us understand our own weather systems; they're helping our future missions to outer space take flight.

In this episode of The Abstract, we explain how new discoveries are shaping the future of space travel.

Our first story is about NASA’s discovery of water on the Moon — and how it appears to be far more abundant than scientists first realized. Critical to deep space exploration, understanding how much lunar water is available could help future flights blast off and, eventually, establish permanent hubs on the Moon.

Our second story solves the mystery behind Pluto’s snowcapped mountains. Unlike the water that makes up Earth's snow, Pluto’s is made of methane — acting like water vapor does on Earth. Never before observed anywhere else in the universe, the discovery is changing what we know about Earth's own weather systems.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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