Lu­nar probe con­firms no wa­ter on the moon

China Daily (USA) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

The lat­est data col­lected by China’s first lu­nar probe Chang’e-3 has con­firmed that there is no wa­ter on the moon, China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion re­ported.

Chang’e-3’s op­ti­cal tele­scope has dis­cov­ered that no wa­ter ex­ists in an an­cient lu­nar “sea” known as Mare Im­brium (“the Sea of Rains”).

When Apollo astronauts walked the lu­nar sur­face in 1969 and brought back rock sam­ples, they found none of the wa­ter­bear­ing min­er­als com­mon on Earth.

Sev­eral de­vel­op­ments had rein­vig­o­rated the dis­cus­sion. In par­tic­u­lar, new analy­ses of vol­canic gasses in the sam­ples had in­ferred the pres­ence of wa­ter in the moon’s in­te­rior.

China’s lu­nar probe Chang’e-3 — named af­ter the god­dess of the moon in Chi­nese mythol­ogy — with the coun­try’s first moon rover on­board, suc­cess­fully landed on the moon on De­cem­ber 14, 2013, mark­ing the first time that China has sent a space­craft to soft-land on the sur­face of an ex­trater­res­trial body.

China will con­tinue its rapid as­cent in space sci­ence in the next cou­ple of years. The coun­try is plan­ning to send another probe to the moon — the Chang’e-5 robotic lu­nar sam­ple re­turn mis­sion. It is due to be launched next year.

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