A Chinese probe discovered a hidden water source on the moon. Surprisingly, the water was found locked in glass beads in the moon’s soil. Up to 270 trillion kg of water may be trapped in the top 40 feet of the lunar surface, evaluated Hu Sen, a scientist at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The evidence of native water on the Moon was confirmed through spectral analysis of samples taken from various places of its surface. “If these beads really have as much water as we think it is … this is huge for future exploration on the moon for supporting astronauts who may go there,” ANU astrophysicist and cosmologist Dr Brad Tucker declared.
The beads form when meteorites of all sizes smash into the Moon at astronomical speeds. The impact heats silicate minerals to melting temperatures, creating the glass spherules. Extracting water would require mining the beads, heating them and then cooling the released water vapor. NASA aims to put astronauts back on the lunar surface by the end of 2025.