‘Moon water is more precious than gold’ (Lead)

September 24th, 2009 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

ISRO By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Sep 24 (IANS) The sensational discovery of water molecules on the lunar surface by an instrument owned by the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and carried by India’s Chandrayaan-1 has been termed by scientists as a “very precious find”.

“Moon water is more precious than gold,” an Indian space scientist told IANS, declining to be named.

He said the presence of water makes a lot of difference for future explorations. “For instance, we may not have to carry water from earth,” he added.

However, he said that a whole lot of tests have to be done to determine whether the water is consumable by humans.

The immediate fallout of the current find on the Chandrayaan-2 mission slated for 2012/2013 is that the moon lander that would go there can land precisely near the moon water and conduct the necessary tests there.

According to the scientist, the data from other equipments carried by Chandrayaan-1 are being studied and the result will be announced in due course of time.

“It includes the data generated by the Indian equipments on Chandrayaan-1. Peer reviews of data generated by Indian equipments and the findings are on,” he remarked.

The spacecraft carried 11 scientific instruments built in India, the US, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria.

The Indian scientific payloads were terrain mapping camera, hyper spectral imager, lunar laser ranging instrument, high energy X-ray spectrometer and moon impact probe.

The overseas payloads were Chandrayaan-1 X-ray spectrometer, near infrared spectrometer, sub-keV atom reflecting analyser, miniature synthetic aperture radar, moon mineralogy mapper and radiation dose monitor.

Former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K. Kasturirangan had categorically said that “India’s lunar mission is not lunatic mission” when controversy raged on the necessity of such a mission.

Now his views have turned prophetic

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