It is planned to be used as a power source and several missions to the satellite have already been planned.
It was first announced at a press conference covered by the Chinese state news site Xinhua. This is the first time that China has announced the discovery of a new mineral on the moon.
Against the backdrop of such stunning announcements, China has announced the preparation of three unmanned missions to the satellite, which they plan to carry out within ten years.
What is found on the moon
Discovered by the Chanye-5 lunar probe, after which it got its name, changesite-(Y) (Changesite-(Y) is a phosphate mineral found among samples of lunar basalt.
It is characterized by a columnar shape, colorless and translucent) Although its exact properties remain somewhat nebulous, Bloomberg notes that the mineral contains helium-3, an isotype that some say could be an energy source in the future.
While the announcement of the new monthly mineral is a first for China, it is not a first for the space community as a whole.
Earlier, the United States also discovered new minerals from lunar samples, making the Chinese find yet another piece of news in the space race.
Monthly race is gaining momentum
As countries and private entities gear up to launch countless new monthly manned and unmanned missions over the next decade, the issue of mining on the moon will become increasingly relevant.
So far, no country has claimed the Moon under the nearly 60-year-old Outer Space Treaty, but space policy experts have been calling for years to update the agreements that were drafted and put into effect in 1967, partly on this very issue.
We know next to nothing about changesite-(Y) yet, but if it is indeed a potential next-generation energy source, it could be a game-changer even more and ask the question of mining rights on the Moon point-blank.
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