Mission H2o Essay


In response to the essay prompt: "If you knew you could not fail as a leader, what would you attempt to do for Jesus?"

By the end of elementary school, I knew two things about my life. I wanted to be a nurse, and God wanted me to be a missionary. It would take me a while to understand that God, being a good God, could take the desires of my heart and use them to serve Him on the mission field. If I knew I could not fail as a leader and if I had God’s blessing, I would become a foreign missionary, living life with another people group. I visualize myself reaching out to the incredible people in an African village or using the Spanish-speaking abilities the Lord has given me to live with the beautiful people in an area of South America. Whether or not a small clinic is exactly what the Lord has for me, I pray for God-sourced strength to follow wherever His plans direct.

Recommended Citation

Allen, Abbie, "3rd Place Essay: Serving God on the Mission Field" (2013). Reed Leadership Student Essay Contest Winners. 13.

Editor's Note: See also this newer story: 'Significant Amount' of Water Found on Moon, published Nov. 13, 2009.The story below, about scant amounts of water found across the lunar surface, was published in September, 2009:

This story was updated at 10:49 p.m. EDT on the date of initial publication.

Since manfirst touched the moon and brought pieces of it back to Earth, scientists havethought that the lunar surface was bone dry. But new observations from threedifferent spacecraft have put this notion to rest with what has been called"unambiguous evidence" of water across the surface of the moon.

The newfindings, detailed in the Sept. 25 issue of the journal Science, come in thewake of further evidence of lunarpolar water ice by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and just weeksbefore the plannedlunar impact of NASA's LCROSS satellite, which will hit one of thepermanently shadowed craters at the moon's south pole in hope of churning upevidence of water ice deposits in the debris field.

The moonremains drier than any desert on Earth, but the water is said to exist on themoon in very small quantities. One ton of the top layer of the lunar surfacewould hold about 32 ounces of water, researchers said. ?

"If the water molecules areas mobile as we think they are ? even a fraction of them ? they provide amechanism for getting water to those permanently shadowed craters," said planetarygeologist Carle Pieters of Brown University in Rhode Island, who led one of thethree studies in Science on the lunar find, in a statement. "This opens a wholenew avenue [of lunar research], but we have to understand the physics of it to utilizeit."

Findingwater on the moon would be a boon to possible futurelunar bases, acting as a potential source of drinking water and fuel.

Apolloturns up dry

When Apolloastronauts returned from the moon 40 years ago, they brought back severalsamples of lunar rocks.

The moonrocks were analyzed for signs of water bound to minerals present in the rocks;while trace amounts of water were detected, these were assumed to becontamination from Earth, because the containers the rocks came back in hadleaked.

"Theisotopes of oxygen that exist on the moon are the same as those that exist onEarth, so it was difficult if not impossible to tell the difference betweenwater from the moon and water from Earth," said Larry Taylor of theUniversity of Tennessee, Knoxville, who is a member of one of the NASA-builtinstrument teams for India's Chandrayaan-1 satellite and has studied the moonsince the Apollo missions.

Whilescientists continued to suspect that waterice deposits could be found in the coldest spots of south pole craters thatnever saw sunlight, the consensus became that the rest of the moon was bone dry.

But newobservations of the lunar surface made with Chandrayaan-1, NASA's Cassinispacecraft, and NASA's Deep Impact probe, are calling that consensus intoquestion, with multiple detections of the spectral signal of either wateror the hydroxyl group (an oxygen and hydrogen chemically bonded).


Chandrayaan-1,India's first-ever moon probe, was aimed at mapping the lunar surface anddetermining its mineral composition (the orbiter's mission ended 14 monthsprematurely in August after an abrupt malfunction). While the probe was stillactive, its NASA-built Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) detected wavelengths oflight reflected off the surface that indicated the chemical bond betweenhydrogen and oxygen ? the telltale sign of either water or hydroxyl.

Because M3can only penetrate the top few millimeters of lunar regolith, the newlyobserved water seems to be at or near the lunar surface. M3's observations alsoshowed that the water signal got stronger toward the polar regions. Pieters is the lead investigator for the M3 instrument on Chandrayaan-1.

Cassini,which passed by the moon in 1999 on its way to Saturn, provides confirmation ofthis signal with its own slightly stronger detection of the water/hydroxylsignal. The water would have to be absorbed or trapped in the glass andminerals at the lunar surface, wrote Roger Clark of the U.S. Geological Surveyin the study detailing Cassini's findings.

The Cassinidata shows a global distribution of the water signal, though it also appearsstronger near the poles (and low in the lunar maria).

Finally,the Deep Impact spacecraft, as part of its extended EPOXI mission and at therequest of the M3 team, made infrared detections of water and hydroxyl as partof a calibration exercise during several close approaches of the Earth-Moonsystem en route to its planned flyby of comet 103P/Hartley 2 in November 2010.

Deep Impactdetected the signal at all latitudes above 10 degrees N, though once again, thepoles showed the strongest signals. With its multiple passes, Deep Impact wasable to observe the same regions at different times of the lunar day. At noon,when the sun's rays were strongest, the water feature was lowest, while in themorning, the feature was stronger.

"TheDeep Impact observations of the Moon not only unequivocally confirm thepresence of [water/hydroxyl] on the lunar surface, but also reveal that theentire lunar surface is hydrated during at least some portion of the lunarday," the authors wrote in their study.

Thefindings of all three spacecraft "provide unambiguous evidence for thepresence of hydroxyl or water," said Paul Lucey of the University ofHawaii in an opinion essay accompanying the three studies. Lucey was notinvolved in any of the missions.

The newdata "prompt a critical reexamination of the notion that the moon is dry.It is not," Lucey wrote.

Wherethe water comes from

Combined,the findings show that not only is the moon hydrated, the process that makes itso is a dynamic one that is driven by the daily changes in solar radiationhitting any given spot on the surface.

The sunmight also have something to do with how the water got there.

There are potentiallytwo types of water on the moon: that brought from outside sources, such aswater-bearing comets striking the surface, or that that originates on the moon.

Thissecond, endogenic, source is thought to possibly come from the interaction ofthe solar wind with moon rocks and soils.

The rocksand regolith that make up the lunar surface are about 45 percent oxygen(combined with other elements as mostly silicate minerals). The solar wind ?the constant stream of charged particles emitted by the sun ? are mostlyprotons, or positively charged hydrogen atoms.

If thecharged hydrogens, which are traveling at one-third the speed of light, hit thelunar surface with enough force, they break apart oxygen bonds in soilmaterials, Taylor, the M3 team member suspects. Where free oxygen and hydrogenexist, there is a high chance that trace amounts of water will form.

The variousstudy researchers also suggest that the daily dehydration and rehydration ofthe trace water across the surface could lead to the migration of hydroxyl andhydrogen towards the poles where it can accumulate in the cold traps of thepermanently shadowed regions.

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