China confirms water on the Moon — Analysis

Chinese scientists confirmed that H2O can be found in the rock samples collected by Chang’e-5’s moon lander.

Chinese scientists claim that testing on Earth has confirmed the possibility of water in the Moon rocks collected by Chang’e 5. Their findings were published in Nature Communications magazine this week.

Dec 2020 was the landing date for the lunar lander, which brought with it 1.7kg (or more than 3.5lbs) lunar soil and rock samples, also known as regolith.

It also measured the chemical composition of all the collected samples using its onboard instruments.

These data enabled Chinese scientists to conclude that water molecules could exist at 120 parts per Million (ppm), in certain types of moon rock, and 180ppm elsewhere.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences team has now confirmed the existence of water in samples, by directly analysing the cargo Chang’e-5 returned to Earth.

China builds artificial moon

The lunar soil analyzed by the scientists turned out to be relatively dry – even by Moon standards – showing levels of water at 28.5 parts per million.

They also found that the sample containing the mineral apatite had a H2O content of just 179ppm. This was in line with previous forecasts.

Satellite and telescope observations led scientists long ago to believe that there was water on the Moon. This could be either as hydroxyl in the rocks or via satellite observation.

Cosmonauts and astronauts may be capable of extracting molecular oxygen, hydrogen, and other elements from the surrounding environment in order to create water and pure oxygen.

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