Neil Armstrong brought water from the Moon

The lunar soil samples collected by the commander of 'Apollo 11' in 1969 contain water, according to a new study of the material

Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the moon, brought water from that satellite without knowing it. A new study of lunar soil collected in 1969 by the commander of Apollo 11 has found small amounts of water in the samples. The element has a composition different from the Earth's water and is enclosed in small crystals inside the lunar earth pebbles, called regolith. & Nbsp;

The samples contain between 70 and 200 parts per million of water, according to the results, published today in Nature Geoscience. There is also a huge shortage of deuterium, which suggests that the moon water is made from local oxygen atoms and hydrogen atoms in the solar wind. When the wind hits the regolith, the two atoms join to form the OH bond, or hydroxyl groups, the water of the moon.

Water for "plants and humans"
< p> "This is a very interesting work that should be framed in the recent discoveries about water on the Moon and other planetary bodies that obviously is not like the liquid water of the Earth," explains Jesús Martínez-Frías, researcher at the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid. This process of water formation "would be working for billions of years and probably also today," the researcher adds.

Could one day this water be extracted by man? "There are already concrete plans and methods for concentrating and extracting water and also oxygen from the lunar regolith," explains Martínez-Frías, who works with NASA on the mission of the Curiosity exploration robot on Mars. "However," he says, "it would require instrumentation and equipment that, although it is very interesting, requires the presence of a semi-permanent or permanent base on the Moon." Both Russia and China have unveiled plans to build lunar bases within two decades.


 

Fuente: MATERIA. Nuño Dominguez

 

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