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India Finds Water on The Moon    by Anurag Sharma

India's Chandrayaan found evidence of large quantities of water on fhe moon.

Dry Lifeless Moon
Since the first lunar probe, the scientists believed that the lunar surface had nothing but dry rocks and dust. But new "unambiguous evidence" provided by the Indian Lunar Mission confirms the presence of water across the surface of the moon.

Samples from the serface of the moon were brought to Earth by the Apollo team in 1969. The scientists continued to suspect the possibility of water ice deposits in the coldest areas of the Moon, there was a general belief among the community that the rest of the moon was completely dry.

  Chandrayaan route from India to the Moon

Chandrayaan-1 of India
Chandrayaan-1 is the name of India's first-ever moon probe with an objective of mapping the lunar surface and determining its mineral composition. It was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), Sriharikota by PSLV-XL (PSLV-C11) on 22 October 2008 in an highly elliptical initial orbit (IO) with perigee (nearest point to the Earth) of 255 km and an apogee (farthest point from the Earth) of 22,860 km, inclined at an angle of 17.9 degrees to the equator. In this initial orbit, Chandrayaan orbited the Earth once in about six and a half hours.

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On 14 November, the Moon Impact Probe (MIP) was ejected from the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft and hard landed on the lunar surface near the South Polar Region after 25 minutes journey. It placed the Indian tricolour flag on the moon, which was pasted on the sides of MIP on the Moon.

The flag of India on lunar serface  

Communication with the spacecraft was suddenly lost after an abrupt malfunction on August 29 2009 after operating for 312 days. The craft will take approximately 1000 days before crashing on to the lunar surface.

Though the orbiter's mission ended prematurely, it detected wavelengths of light reflected off the surface that indicated the chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen — a clear indicator of water or hydroxyl. Chandrayaan observations indicated the presence of water to be near the lunar surface. It also showed that the water signals were stronger toward the polar regions of the Moon.



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[सभी चित्र भारतीय अन्तरिक्ष अनुसंधान संस्थान द्वारा - Photo Courtesy: Indian Space Research Organisation]


© Anurag Sharma