Organic Molecules in Lunar Ice: A Window to the Early Evolution of Life on Earth

  • Dirk Schulze-MakuchEmail author
Part of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 28)


Water ice at the lunar poles likely contains organic molecules that provide insights into the early evolution of life on Earth and cometary composition. In fact, since meteorite impacts on Earth may have delivered biogenic material to the surface of the Moon, this is the only place where we might find clues about prebiotic molecules of early Earth and the early evolution of life. In addition, this water may be utilized as drinking water and oxygen for a future human base on the Moon. Here I outline the rationale for exploring this resource, lay out evidence for large amounts of water ice to be present in the polar areas of the Moon, and provide a first design attempt on how to extract the organic molecules from the lunar ice.


Natural Zeolite Lunar Regolith Lunar Soil Lunar Prospector Organic Macromolecule 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of the EnvironmentWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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