Water on Moon – Holy Grail for Lunar Scientists – Found by India’s Chandrayaan

Chandrayaan-I, India’s maiden lunar mission discovered water on the moon. This amazing discovery was announced by NASA in a press conference in Washington.  

“Water ice on the moon has been something of a holy grail for lunar scientists for a very long time,” said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This surprising finding has come about through the ingenuity, perseverance and international cooperation between NASA and the India Space Research Organisation,” he said.

“We want to thank ISRO for making the discovery possible. Moon till now was thought to be a very dry surface with lot of rocks,” NASA said in a press conference. “Discovery of moon is a major leap in our knowledge of the moon. NASA’s instruments helped finding the water molecules in collaboration with ISRO,” NASA said.

(ISRO Chairman, Madhavan Nair in Bengaluru)    
 (NASA Press Conference in Washington)

ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said the MIP (India’s Moon Impact Probe) showed indications as it was crash-landing – it caught signatures of water.
“As the MIP was landing, it took some pictures that indicated the water molecules eventually found by M3 (NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper).” 

J S Goswami, principal investigator for Chandrayaan-1, told Times of India:
“We had indications of water on November 14, the day MIP crash-landed on the Moon. It sensed some sort of water molecules. We were absolutely delighted but it had to be corroborated. Without international examination and cross-examination and confirmation of the evidence, it would not have been right on our part to go public about it.”

Officials said India scientists waited all this while to make the discovery public as they wanted the findings of such global significance to be first published in a scientific journal.

This is a great day for science. It is even greater for those of us who are committed to the Indo-American partnership.

Editor’s Note:

Read the articles below for more details:

  • Tiny molecules of water open floodgates for science


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