Location, location, location. It’s the dogma for every real estate agent, and it’s equally true on the moon.
The discovery of water on the moon—and how that could help humanity’s exploration of space—is what’s driving efforts to return to Earth’s satellite. But water isn’t everywhere on the moon; it’s only suspected to be in a few locations where concentrations are significant. And that could set up not just a scarcity problem, but the possibility for an innocent (or not so innocent) science experiment to trigger a colonial-style scramble for resources.
The best bet for big deposits of ice are the lunar poles, which receive less sunlight than the equatorial regions. There are deep craters that are never touched by the sun’s light at all, and remote sensing suggests that is where water is concentrated. The temperatures there are nearly -400 degrees F.