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22.05.2024
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China intends to search for water at the South Pole of the Moon with a flying probe

luna cherno belye monohromnye astronomiya oboiChina plans to search for frozen water near the South Pole of the Moon using a special detector that will deliver the Chang'e-7 spacecraft, according to an article published in the scientific journal Space: Science & Technology.

The device will explore the so-called "craters of eternal darkness", the bottom of which is never illuminated by the Sun. Presumably, water ice could be preserved in them.
Around 2024, the Chang'e-6 spacecraft will be launched to collect soil samples from the far side of the Moon, and then, approximately in 2026, the Chang'e-7 spacecraft will go to the Earth's natural satellite, which will land in the South Pole zone. To study the appearance, content and distribution of water ice on the Moon, researchers plan to conduct both orbital remote sensing and direct searches in areas of permanent shadow.
Specialists of the Center for Space Sciences of the Academy of Sciences of the People's Republic of China and the Engineering Center of the Lunar Research Program of the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) believe that the flying vehicle, unlike traditional lunar rovers, will be able to reach the bottom of the crater. If an analyzer mounted on a flying mini-probe can detect water molecules in a layer of frost on the surface of the Moon, then with the help of a drilling tool, the probe will take a sample of ice, and the manipulator will move it to the apparatus for spectral analysis.
The measurement results will show whether the lunar soil from the bottom of the crater contains water, ammonia and other volatile substances, the article says. Two more devices for studying lunar ice are planned to be placed on the orbital module, writes TASS.