It becomes the third country in the world to identify an unknown mineral on the Moon .
China announced this Friday that it has discovered a new mineral on the Moon for the first time , called Changesite-(Y) and that it is the sixth mineral found by humanity on the Earth’s satellite, state media reported.
The discovery makes the Asian giant the third country to identify an unknown mineral on the Moon , something that the United States and Russia had already achieved .
The vice president of the Atomic Energy Authority of China, Dong Baotong, disclosed in a press conference the name of the discovery, a phosphate mineral in columnar crystal found in lunar basaltic particles, the official Global Times newspaper reported this Friday .
The New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification Commission of the International Minerological Association has endorsed the finding, achieved from samples collected by the Chang’e 5 mission from the lunar surface in 2020, the first obtained in four decades.
Numerous institutions from the Asian giant were involved in the study of the samples, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Ministries of Education and Natural Resources.
The scientists stressed that the material collected by China’s lunar mission and the research developed from it are of great importance in understanding the origin and evolution of the Moon , as well as the possibilities to use its resources effectively.
Last June, the discovery of high-pressure minerals was announced in the samples collected on the surface of the Moon by this same probe, such as fragments of seifertite and stishovite, minerals formed from silicon dioxide subjected to high temperatures and pressures.
China and its space ambitions
The Chang’e program (named after a goddess who, according to Chinese legend, lives on the Moon ) began with the launch of a first probe in 2007.
In recent years, Beijing has invested heavily in its space program and has achieved milestones such as the successful landing of a probe on the far side of the Moon in January 2019, an achievement that no country had achieved to date.