Commentary: We're over the moon for water on the moon

So NASA found water on the moon. This, of course, is a huge breakthrough. Now we are closer than ever to achieving something mankind has dreamed of since we first peered at the stars: the ability to buy bottled Moon Water at Circle K.

OK, seriously, it's a big deal. NASA crashed a satellite into the moon on purpose a month ago to see what kind of debris it might kick up. After analyzing the video, scientists announced Friday that the satellite threw up a plume of at least 24 gallons of water. (How to make a great scientific discovery: Run the car into the ditch.)

Finding water on the moon gives a hint of hope to the idea that people might someday live there. It also backs up the theory that ice - on the moon and maybe on other planets - might be encasing clues to the history of the universe.

More than that, though, it's a tiny piece of evidence that someone else might be Out There.

That's what we really care about - finding some little thread that links us to life in another place. If water is necessary for life, and there's water on the moon, then there might have been life on the moon. And if there was life on the moon, maybe there was on Mars. And so on, one step at a time, out into the deep vast blackness until we find not just the light of a dying sun, but a beacon that somebody switched on in hopes that we might find it.

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