Water on the Moon?: A potential resource for space exploration
The discovery of more water on the Moon, stored in tiny glass beads could provide a readily accessible source of water for future missions.
An international team analysed lunar glass in soil samples brought back to Earth by the Chinese Chang’e-5 mission.
Researchers estimate between 300 billion and nearly 300 trillion kilograms of water is held in tiny glass beads strewn across the Moon.
Australia’s Astronomer at Large, Fred Watson has told Deborah Knight the beads are formed when meteorites slam into the lunar surface.
“The heat of that explosion essentially melts the rock around it and breaks it up into the tiny glass beads,” said Mr Watson.
“Hydrogen then permeates the beads and reacts with the oxygen inside – forming water.”
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