June 6, 2023

Dubai Week

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In glass particles, Chinese scientists have discovered water on the moon

According to the Wall Street Journal, scientists in China have discovered a new source of water found in microscopic glass particles on the moon’s surface, indicating that it could one day help future astronauts produce drinking water, breathable air and rocket fuel. .

The results come from a Chinese rover that spent two weeks on the lunar surface in 2020. The Chang’e 5 probe drilled several feet into the lunar surface and returned with about 3.7 pounds of material, including glass beads, according to a published research paper. Monday in the journal Nature. Scientific journal Nature Geoscience.

According to the “Wall Street Journal”, the Moon’s surface is covered with small spherical grains of silicate glass, which range from a few tens of micrometers to a few millimeters. Some of the glass beads were formed when asteroids collided with the moon, while others are the result of ancient volcanic activity on the moon’s surface, both of which occurred millions of years ago.

In their laboratory in Beijing, scientists from the Chinese institute examined a handful of microscopic spheres using a special instrument called a secondary ion mass spectrometer, which analyzes solid surfaces with a beam of ions and detects the presence of water in them. .

According to the study, although the amount of water in each grain is small, the moon has enough beads to hold 270 trillion kilograms of water, which is equivalent to 71 trillion gallons.

And since water is found at both the north and south poles of the moon, the water in the tiny glass beads is not the source of water on the moon’s surface. This is where the National Aeronautics and Space Administration “NASA” and China plan to establish bases on the moon in the near future, the newspaper said.

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And the “Wall Street Journal” reported in 2020 that astronomers using an infrared telescope aboard a high-altitude NASA spacecraft discovered water trapped within lunar grains in a sunlit area on the moon’s surface. .

A NASA spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the agency does not comment on scientific publications outside the agency. Since 2011, Congress has banned NASA from working with China for security reasons.

On December 11, Japan sent a spacecraft to the moon from Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to Reuters.

And the “Hakuto-R” vehicle launched by Japanese private startup “ISpace” is expected to land on the moon by the end of April.

The iSpace vehicle aims to put a small NASA satellite into lunar orbit to search for water deposits before landing in the Atlas crater.

In the past fifty years, the national space agencies of the United States, Russia and China have managed to land on the moon, but no other agency has done so, according to Reuters.