Tech UPTechnologyChina detects water on the surface of the Moon

China detects water on the surface of the Moon

Chang’e 5 reached the moon on December 1, 2020 as part of a sample return mission and has become the first spacecraft on the lunar surface to detect signs of water within the rocks and soil of our planet. satelite. It used its onboard instruments to take a number of scientific measurements, including the spectral reflectance of moon rocks, a process in which light reflected from rocks can indicate chemical composition, including levels of molecules such as oxygen and carbon. hydrogen.

What they discovered was that, in some types of rocks, at a mid-latitude on the Moon, there were H20 molecules present at about 120 parts per million, and others at 180 parts per million , confirming the findings made by NASA. using ground-based telescopes.

The goal is for astronauts living on the Moon in the future to be able to extract molecular oxygen and hydrogen to produce water and pure oxygen for their survival.

In the past, moon rocks returned by the Apollo missions, spearheaded by NASA’s deputy administrator James Webb, were extremely dry, and what little water they contained was assumed to come from contamination after they returned to Earth. However, we know that we cannot live without water and transporting large quantities to the Moon is unfeasible due to the cost of future missions. Hence, it has become crucial to establish whether our satellite has water trapped below the surface.

Evidence of water on the Moon

Now we have a new confirmation. According to measurements taken with Chang’E-5’s lunar mineralogical spectrometer, there is quite a bit of water – about 180 parts per million – in the North Oceanus Procellarum , where the Chinese spacecraft landed. This new evidence is the first to be recovered from in situ measurements, since the previous data is due to orbital observations and sample measurements. But, until today, a rover or a lunar probe had never detected water directly on the Moon.

Both the 120 grams of water per tonne and the 180 ppm measurements are much drier than we would find on Earth, but they serve to confirm the existence of water in the vicinity of the lander. It is clear that we would have to crush a lot of rocks to obtain a glass of drinking water, but it is only the beginning .

Results from compositional and orbital remote sensing analyzes show that the rock may have been pushed up from underground. “Thus, the lower soil water content, compared to the higher rock fragment water content, suggests that degassing of the mantle reservoir beneath the Chang’E-5 landing site occurred,” he wrote. the team.

This suggests that there may be even higher concentrations of water further down if we can find the right locations, and that is that the location the Chinese lander is in is exposed to the full possible force of the Sun, boiling off all substantial water that It arrives on comets. The South Pole of the Moon, for example, which remains in the shadow, could be a much richer area in the precious liquid good.

Future studies of the water content in lunar rocks will be needed to determine whether it is water from the Moon’s interior, the researchers said.



Referencia: “In situ detection of water on the Moon by the Chang’E-5 lander” by Honglei Lin, Shuai Li, Rui Xu, Yang Liu, Xing Wu, Wei Yang, Yong Wei, Yangting Lin, Zhiping He, Hejiu Hui , Huaiyu He, Sen Hu, Chi Zhang, Chunlai Li, Gang Lv, Liyin Yuan, Yongliao Zou and Chi Wang, 7 January 2022, Science Advances.
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abl9174

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