Three probes, including a NASA instrument on India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, have detected water molecules in minerals on the moon's surface.
Craters may hold evidence of Earth's history, and frozen ices at their floors could be valuable resources for lunar explorers.
With dedication and good timing, amateur astronomers have helped track asteroids and search for planets. NASA is enlisting some for a moon observation mission.
The mission to gather data needed to put humans on the moon again launches Thursday evening. It includes slamming a satellite craft into the bottom of a lunar crater.
The delayed launch of Endeavour – caused by a fuel tank leak similar to one that delayed the shuttle Discovery in March – also bumps the launch of a moon reconnaissance mission to Thursday.
As more countries race to launch satellites and manned craft, some warn of a space jam.
The latest, most detailed map offers the best view yet of the lunar south pole, considered a prime target for a manned landing after 2020.