India landed on the moon just last week, but its Chandrayaan-3 mission has already made its first scientific observations of the moon’s south pole.
By shooting lasers at the surface, the vehicle on board confirmed the presence of sulfur The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced..
It is the first rover ever to explore the region.
“The laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument aboard the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has made the first-ever in situ measurements of the elemental composition of the lunar surface near the south pole.” ISRO said in a statement.
“These in situ measurements unequivocally confirm the presence of sulfur (S) in the region, which was not possible with the instruments on board the orbiters.”
Scientific experiments on site are continuing…..
The rover’s Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) instrument has unequivocally confirmed the presence of sulfur (S) in the lunar surface near the south pole, with first-of-its-kind in situ measurements. pic.twitter.com/vDQmByWcSL
– isro (@isro) August 29, 2023
Primary analyses Also hinted at the presence of aluminum, iron, calcium, chromium and titanium.
Further measurements have revealed the presence of manganese (Mn), silicon (Si), and oxygen (O), ISRO has been added.
“A thorough investigation is underway regarding the presence of hydrogen.”
While China, Russia and the United States landed on the moon, previous attempts by Russia and India to reach the South Pole failed.
The south pole is believed to be the most water-rich region on the moon, and the Chandrayaan-3 rover, known as Pragyan, will spend next two weeks Using its lasers to search for signs of frozen water – as well as studying the atmosphere and learning about the formation of the Antarctic.
The frozen water could be incredibly valuable if it were found on the moon, as it could one day be used to produce breathable oxygen for future lunar bases, and it could also provide ingredients for rocket fuel that could help send missions to Mars.
The name Pragyan is derived from the Hindu word pragya, It means the highest and purest form of wisdom, intelligence and understanding.
LIBS Capable of detecting elements by shooting intense laser beams at the lunar surface and generating hot plasma. And by studying the light emitted from that plasma, researchers can determine the wavelengths of different particles in that particular piece of the moon.
We can’t wait to see what he finds over the next few weeks.
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