China Just Found Something Fascinating In Glass Beads Strewn Across The Moon

China’s Chang’e-5 mission achieved a significant milestone in 2020 by successfully collecting 3.7 pounds of lunar regolith, making it the first mission since the 1970s to bring back samples from the Moon. After analyzing the samples in 2021, researchers made a remarkable discovery: the lunar surface is home to a new water source in the form of tiny glass beads.

According to a paper published in Nature Geoscience, these microscopic spheres, formed by asteroid impacts and volcanic activity, are made of silicate and contain trapped water.

Although the individual beads are small, ranging from a few micrometers to a few millimeters, their abundance is astounding. The researchers estimate that there could be 71 trillion gallons of water spread across the Moon in these tiny glass beads.

The prospect of accessing this water is exciting for future lunar exploration. The researchers propose that heating the glass beads could release the trapped water, providing a valuable resource for human exploration and settlement on the Moon.

Furthermore, the discovery of water in the glass beads could have implications beyond the Moon. The research suggests that similar water reservoirs could be present on other airless bodies in the solar system. This finding could open up new possibilities for space exploration and colonization, as having access to water is crucial for human survival in space.

In addition to the water in the glass beads, scientists have previously discovered significant deposits of water ice in shadowed craters near the Moon’s poles. Together, these findings significantly improve the prospects of finding reliable sources of water on the Moon’s surface.

Chang’e-5 mission has provided valuable insights into the composition of the lunar surface and the potential for future lunar exploration. The discovery of water in the glass beads and known water ice deposits opens up exciting possibilities for human exploration and settlement on the Moon and beyond.

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