15 January 2022

China's Chang'e 5 lunar lander is first to find water on the moon.

China's Chang'e 5 lunar lander just marked a historic first: The spacecraft became the first to detect water on the moon at its landing site in real time.

Chang'e 5 found water at its landing site near Oceanus Procellarum on the moon's near side, using an instrument that detects water by determining spectral reflectance measurements of regolith (soil) and rocks.

Water was first definitively detected on the moon from orbit, by India's Chandrayaan-1 mission using NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument (following several tentative detections beforehand by other missions and telescopes). The Chandrayaan-1 findings were announced in September 2009, and water has since been extensively mapped from orbit by missions such as NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been operating at the moon since 2009.

Source: www.space.com

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