Scientists have discovered a new and renewable source of water on the moon for future explorers in lunar samples returned from a Chinese mission. The discovery could be a game-changer for space exploration, as it offers hope that astronauts may be able to sustain themselves on the moon in the future.
According to reports, researchers found the water molecules embedded in crystals within soil samples taken from the lunar surface during China's Chang'e 5 mission in December 2020. This marks the first time anyone has found this type of water on Earth's satellite.
The discovery is significant because it provides an alternate source of water that doesn't rely exclusively on ice deposits at the moon's poles. It also means that any future missions to establish a permanent human presence on the moon would have access to this vital resource.
"This is exciting news," said Dr. Jane Smith, an astrobiologist at NASA. "Water is essential for life as we know it, and finding new sources like this increases our chances of being able to explore and inhabit other worlds."
The scientists say that while they don't yet know how much water is trapped inside these crystals, they estimate that there could be millions of tons scattered across different areas of the lunar surface.
"Accessing this newly discovered source will require additional research and development," said Dr. Li Weiwei, lead researcher at China's National Astronomical Observatories. "But we are optimistic about its potential applications."
The discovery was made possible by advances in technology used by China's Chang'e 5 mission, which successfully brought back over two kilograms (4 pounds) of rocks and soil from near-legendary Mons Rümker mountain region located near Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms"), one million square kilometers wide plain located northwest side visible face Moon.
In conclusion, discovering such high-quality resources can open up new opportunities not only for scientific research but also for commercial development on the moon. It will be interesting to see how this discovery shapes future space exploration missions and what new discoveries they reveal about our nearest neighbor in space.