Monday, October 19, 2009

Chandrayaan’s moon findings: Water, rocks and traces of Apollo

Soon after India’s moon mission, Chandrayaan -1 was called off due to loss of signal in August this year, National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) thanked Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for a landmark discovery.

Chandrayaan’s moon findings: Water, rocks and traces of Apollo

A NASA instrument onboard Chandrayaan -1, revealed water molecules in amounts greater than predicted. NASA said the M3 team found water molecules and hydroxyl at diverse areas of the sunlit region of the moon's surface. The water signature appeared stronger at the moon's higher latitudes.

Water on the moon is just one of the many crucial moon findings. There are other interesting facts that Chandrayan-1 discovered on its trip to the Moon.

Here is all that India's maiden foray to Moon revealed:

I. Iron on moon

Chandrayaan-1 confirmed presence of iron in the lunar soil and, for the first time, revealed changes in rock and mineral composition. The sighting of the mineral is first in the past five years and only the second in 10 years following a US mission in 1998-99 and European mission in 2003.

II. Traces of Apollo 15

Camera on board Chandrayaan-1 recorded images of the landing site of US spacecraft Apollo 15, putting an end to conspiracy theories claiming that the fourth US mission to moon was a hoax. The terrain mapper camera onboard Chandrayaan-1 also sent the images of tracks of the lunar rovers used by astronauts to travel on lunar surface. A scientist told media that since lunar dust is dark, the disturbances left behind by the spacecraft and the rovers are easily distinguishable. Chandrayaan could not capture the images of footprint left behind by the first astronauts on moon, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, because of resolution capability.

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