Researchers found water particles in samples collected by Apollo long ago and scientists say it indicates water may also exist on Mercury and on other asteroids like Vesta or Eros in our solar system. It has reversed the belief that moon was a dry planet.
So, what does it mean for Earth? Apart from rich mineral resources, Moon is likely to prove a clear destination of our next conquest. Whether it will repeat the 15th and 16th century conquests on Earth undertaken by European adventurers and traders will be a certainty but more than that it will relieve the pressure on Earth for housing and mining.
Although moon mining is legally still undefined, major world space agencies, including NASA, have encouraged private participants in the commercial activity, especially by Moon Express which aims at space-based resource extraction.
In fact, Moon rocks are rich in oxygen that might be exploited to provide life support systems for lunar operations. Liquid oxygen, useful as rocket propellant helps in manufacturing it in space than to lift it off from the Earth. Mining the Moon might also yield titanium, a strong but light metal for high-end aerospace applications. Moreover, the abundance of Helium-3 on the Moon could be used for fusion reactors if they ever become feasible in the future.
Currently, the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, ratified by 100 nations, allows no country to claim sovereignty over any part of the moon, but does not prevent private companies from mining.