The possibly ancient ice deposits are concentrated at the lunar craters at the southern pole and then widely yet sparsely distributed at the northern pole, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports.
The polar regions where the ice lies are "super cold", Li said, noting that the warmest temperatures never reach above minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit (-157 Celsius).
NASA lunar scientist Sarah Noble told Reuters separately by phone that it is still unknown much ice is actually present on the moon and how easy it would be to extract in sufficient quantities to be of practical use.
"When a sufficient amount of ice on the surface, the water can be a resource for future expeditions or even colonization of the moon", reported NASA.
In a discovery that could have major implications for the future of humanity, researchers have found frozen surface water on the Moon for the first time.
The device collected data about the reflecting properties of substances on the surface of the moon and the ways of the absorption of infrared light, allowing scientists to distinguish between liquid water, steam or ice.
To add to the difficulties, as the Moon does not have an atmosphere, any light that does bounce off the lunar surface is scattered very weakly, so the signal recorded by the mapper is also very weak. And for Bridenstine to say there are "hundreds of billions of tons of water ice on the surface of the Moon" may be a stretch.
In other words, before NASA gets the cart before the horse, scientists will have to learn how the ice got there, and then do further studies to learn how it interacts with the larger lunar environment.
Earlier in the year, the Chinese and European space agencies said that they were planning to build a joint base on the Moon.