Lunar Ice: Exciting to Me, But Not to My Characters - Facts So Romantic

Lunar Ice: Exciting to Me, But Not to My Characters - Facts So Romantic

The author of The Martian and Artemis argues that the moon’s ice caps (blue) don’t change how he would design his fictional moon bases.NASA / JPL

When I wrote The Martian, the general belief was that Mars had very little water, and what supply it did have would be at the poles. After the book came out, Curiosity landed and discovered enormous amounts of ice mixed in with the Martian soil. All that hard work Mark Watney did to make water was a waste of time. He could have just heated up some dirt.

My next book, Artemis, features a city on the Moon. It released back in November of last year. And now, a recent announcement by JPL has confirmed the existence of icy patches on the lunar poles. Have I been bitten in the ass yet again by the March of Science?

Personally, I’m stoked by the discovery. I’m looking forward to seeing how it will affect space exploration in the real world. It may be possible to send automated systems to collect water, electrolyze it into hydrogen and oxygen, and manufacture rocket fuel. Having a large store of rocket fuel already outside Earth’s gravity well could mean a lot for…
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