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Looking for water on the moon? The latest exploration results of Chang’e 5 Lander
Have a try of Moyu’s science questions?
Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology undertook the development tasks of Long March 5 Booster, Chang’e 5 Orbiter, Chang’e 3 and Chang’e 4 landers, and the rover five and a half subsystems.
The research result published on January 8 obtained the water content under the in situ condition of the lunar surface for the first time based on the data detected by the lunar mineral spectrometer carried by Chang’e 5 Lander. However, the “water” detected by the spectrometer is not the common water that we use in our lives; instead, it means the water molecules or hydroxyl groups in minerals. It can be turned into the drinkable water under certain conditions.
▲ Chang’e 5 Probe taking samples from the lunar surface
Before then, the lunar exploration project of different countries once carried out various forms of exploration of the water on the moon to help people continuously deepen the understanding of the water on the moon. Chang’e-5 is the only one that has taken samples from the moon and obtained the in-situ spectra of the lunar surface. Based on the samples, the distribution and mode of existence of water in the lunar soil particles can be analyzed in detail. Their source can be traced based on isotopes. The in-situ spectra can establish a contact with the orbital remote sensor to study the global distribution and temporal variation features of the lunar surface water.
Later, Chang’e 6 and Chang’e 7 will continue exploring the content and distribution of lunar surface water in situ and from the orbital scale. The current research results will also provide supports to achieve the scientific objectives of Chang’e 6 and Chang’e 7.
China’s lunar exploration and deep-space exploration projects are not the simple repetition of others. Instead, we are constantly optimizing new plans and integrating new technologies to explore new ways and expand new forms for the human to explore the space. Chang’e 2 once obtained the clearest full moon map that was publicized in the world at that time. Later, it realized the first short-range flyby of Toutatis (Mars) planetoid of the spacecraft. Chang’e 4 mission successfully finished the first soft landing and investigation of the spacecraft on the far side of the moon in the history, and established relay communication between the far side of the moon and the earth for the first time.
▲ Jade Rabbit-2 of Chang’e 4
While acquiring new scientific data for the mankind, China’s lunar and deep-space exploration project has also stimulated people’s interest in space exploration in all countries with its unique technical means and new discoveries.
In the image captured by the rover Jade Rabbit-2 of Chang’e 4 publicized last December, a mysterious hut sparked heated discussions among the netizens at home and abroad. People discussed warmly: “Is this ‘mysterious hut’ left by the extraterrestrial intelligence or by the ancient civilization of the moon?
▲ The “mysterious hut”
As Jade Rabbit-2 approached to the target, the answer was finally revealed: It is a stone in the shape of a “jade rabbit”:
We will have new discoveries only if we dare to take a different path. China will make more and more contributions to human’s exploration of the space.
Source: China Science Daily; China’s space activities; China’s lunar exploration project; Official WeChat account of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation