China’s Chang’e-5 lunar exploration mission

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China’s Chang’e-5 lunar exploration mission

Recently China’s Chang’e-5 lunar exploration mission has found the first on-site evidence of water on the lunar surface.

  • Initially, the presence of water was confirmed only by remote observation. But the lander has now received signs of water in the rocks and soil.
  • It has also been known that possibly the reservoirs formed in the mantle of the Moon had dried up. For this reason there is no presence of water on the moon.
  • Earlier, data obtained from India’s Chandrayaan-1 (year 2008) had found evidence of water in the Moon’s exosphere and on the Moon’s surface and sub-surface.
  • In addition, Chandrayaan-2 (year 2019) had confirmed the presence of water ice in the permanently darkened regions of the Moon.
  • In the coming years, many countries including India are planning to start their lunar missions.

Reasons for new interest:

  • Economic: Helium-3 is abundantly available on the Moon, but it is rare on Earth. It is a potential fuel for nuclear fusion. Helium-3 is an isotope of the element helium.
  • Basis for future space exploration: This is the best place to test how life responds to the harsh conditions of space.
  • To study Earth: The Moon and Earth have a shared past. Studying it will reveal what the Earth’s early past was like.

Other lunar missions:

  • Artemis (NASA), Volatile Investigation Polar Exploration Rover (NASA), Korea Pathfinder LunarOrbiter (South Korea), Chandrayaan-3 (India) etc.

Source – The Hindu

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