A new study, published Monday in the journal natural geosciencesshows that a team of Chinese scientists, led by Sen Hu, has just discovered a new reservoir of water on the Moon.
The mission, dubbed ‘Chang’e 5 (CE5)’, has uncovered evidence of a 270 billion ton reservoir of water trapped in the Moon’s ‘glass beads’, which were formed during impacts meteorites and act as reservoirs. for water from the solar wind.
Sen Hu, a professor at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics (IGG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, comments on the findings:
These findings indicate that impact glasses on the surface of the Moon and other airless bodies in the solar system are able to store water derived from the solar wind and later release it into space. Most interesting of all is that the water trapped in the moon crystals was generated by the Sun.senhu
How did they collect samples from the Ghost Water Tank on the Moon?
investigation “Chang’e 5 (CE5)” landed very close to Mount Rümker, an isolated volcano located in the northwestern part of the visible side of the Moon. Thanks to the creation of this vessel, Chinese scientists used a robotic arm to extract samples, condition them and send them to the orbital module which flew over the Moon.
After one lunar day, which is equivalent to 14 days on Earth, the probe “Chang’e 5 (CE5)” returned to our planet with the samples taken from the Moon. This discovery represents a real milestone, since it is the first samples collected on the Moon after the Soviet mission “Lunik 24”, carried out in 1976.
A very important discovery for future space exploration missions
The materials are made up of small impact glasses that contain small amounts of water inside. According to analyzes carried out by According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, these crystals formed over the past 2 billion years.
This is China’s first sample return mission, a very important discovery for future space exploration missions. Scientists believe that there are reserves of water, which have not yet been discovered, which have the ability to buffer the water cycle on the surface of the Moon.
Sen Hu points out the following regarding future space exploration missions:
For future manned missions, this may be an alternate source of water. The way to extract it would be to collect lunar soil, heat it in a 100 degree oven and capture the resulting steam.senhu
After this important discovery made by a group of Chinese scientists, the European Space Agency (ESA) intends to send a new probe to the Moon in the year 2026, whose objective will be to drill into the lunar soil to collect new samples.
Sources: Editorial Ambientum, ABC, EL PAÍS