Friday, June 17, 2022

China’s Chang’e 5 Lunar Lander Finds Water on Moon | South China Morning Post

China’s Chang’e 5 Lunar Lander Finds Water on Moon | South China Morning Post

Soil samples collected by China’s Chang’e 5 lunar lander have determined that much of the water on the lunar surface likely comes from within the Moon itself, not solar winds as previously hypothesized. The discovery comes from the first-ever water survey conducted on the surface of the Moon and is an important step in China’s ambitions to build a Moonbase by 2027. However, while Chinese scientists discovered water, they found far less of it than initially predicted—a minuscule 30 grams per ton of soil so far.

Chang'e 5 is the fifth lunar exploration mission of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, and China's first lunar sample-return mission. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e. It launched in November 23, 2020 from Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on Hainan Island, landed on the Moon December 1, 2020, collected ~1,731 g (61.1 oz) of lunar samples (including from a core ~1 m deep), and returned samples to the Earth on December 16, 2020. The Chang'e 5 landing site is at 43.1°N (in latitude), 51.8°W (in longitude) in the Northern Oceanus Procellarum near a huge volcanic complex, Mons Rümker, located in the northwest lunar near side.

Related story:

Chinese scientists find clues to the origins of water on the moon

Chang'e-5 was the first lunar sample-return mission since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976. The mission made China the third country to return samples from the Moon after the United States and the Soviet Union.

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Video Credit: South China Morning Post (SCMP)

Duration: 1 minute, 41 seconds

Release Date: June 17, 2022

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