By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ISTANBUL (AA) – China’s Chang’e-5 lander has successfully brought on Earth water trapped inside tiny beads of glass scattered across the moon, scientists have confirmed in a new study.
According to Nature Geoscience journal, scientists have found water inside glass beads which were “hand-picked from a lunar soil sample scooped by the CE5 (Chang’e-5) lander robotic arm.”
Chang’e-5 was China’s fifth lunar exploration mission.
“A total of 117 individual spherical glass beads were characterized using field-emission scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA), and Raman spectroscopy,” said the study published Monday.
Scientists have studied the presence of water on the moon for decades.
“Today, there is little doubt that most of the Moon’s surface harbors water in one form or another. However, the origin(s) of this lunar surface water and its spatial distribution and evolution during regolith gardening remain largely unknown, despite key implications for future lunar surface exploration and for a better understanding the (sub)surface water reservoir and processing on Solar System airless bodies,” the study explained.
China launched Chang’e-5 on the moon in December 2020 which Beijing had described as “a major step towards obtaining the youngest lunar samples so far collected and delivering them to earth.”
The lander was tasked to collect samples from the ascent vehicle and deliver them to earth around mid-December.