China adds one more feather to its cap, discovers water on the Moon. The Chang’e-5 mission from China found the first-ever on-site evidence of water on the lunar surface.
On December 17, 2020, China’s Chang’e-5 landed safely at a targeted spot in Siziwang Banner of north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. It brought two lunar samples with it.
The lunar soil samples collected from the landing site contained fewer than 120 parts per million (ppm) water or 120 grams of water per tonne., while a light vesicular rock has 180 ppm. It makes it drier than rocks on Earth, according to research published on Saturday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances.
In the past, many scientists conducted distance observations. It proved the presence of water on the surface of the Moon. Also, multiple orbital studies and sample measurements carried out during the last decade discovered indications of water (as hydroxyl and H2O) on the lunar surface. On the other hand, scientists never made any in-situ measurements on the lunar surface.
Recently Chang’e-5 mission found signs of water in rocks and soil on the lunar surface. The research expanded on NASA’s results from 2018. It happened when aerial infrared telescope discovered signs of water on the Moon’s sunlit surfaces.
Due to its very nonexistent atmosphere, astronomers thought the Moon was dry. The assumption was that there was nothing to buffer water molecules from the sun’s harsh radiation as the Moon had no atmosphere.