Why CU Prof Jack Burns Is Likely Over the Moon

October 9 2009, 10:45 AM

Burns, JackA few weeks ago, scientists from India announced that a satellite had detected water molecules on the Moon's surface, a fact that was on the minds of NASA scientists early this morning as the U.S. space agency intentionally crashed a probe onto a giant lunar crater. The hope was that the resulting explosion would kick up enough dust to allow sensors to detect just how much water might be hidden within the dust of what was once considered a giant, gray-desert orb (via The Associated Press). All morning NASA has been abuzz, streaming live video of the crash from its Web site. You can bet that Jack Burns, a professor of astrophysics and planetary sciences at the University of Colorado and chairman of the science committee on NASA's advisory council, was among the first to see footage of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite as the probe blew up. "This is absolutely a game-changing event as far as the moon is concerned," Burns (pictured) recently told 9News. "Because if there's water on the moon, it changes the perspective of what we would be able to do in terms of setting a permanent outpost on the moon." That's what Korea's Chosun Ilbo notes, too, reporting, however, that finding water is only the first step toward such a future.