The NASA shared that scientists have discovered frozen water deposits in the darkest and coldest parts of the Moon’s polar regions as per data provided by Chandrayaan-I spacecraft.
It shared that ice had covered the surface within the top few millimeters which indicates the presence of water that would be accessible as a resource for future expeditions to explore and it made work easier to access than the water detected beneath the lunar surface.
The new ice traces are found in the shadows of craters near the poles where the sunlight hardly reaches and the temperature never reaches above minus 156 degrees Celsius due to the very small tilt of the Moon’s rotation axis which doesn’t permit sunlight to fall in the region.
It is even detected that the north pole’s ice is widely but sparsely spread whereas, most of the ice is found concentrated in lunar holes of southern pole.
The NASA scientists used data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument to detect three specific signs that prove the presence of the water ice at the lunar’s surface.
M3, aboard the Chandrayan-1 spacecraft, equipped with the technologies could confirm the presence of solid ice on the moon. It collected the data which detected the reflective properties and even measured the distinctive way its molecules absorb infrared light which could differentiate between the solid ice, vapours and liquid water.
Chandrayaan-1 was India’s First lunar mission, launched successfully on October 22, 2008, from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota.
The spacecraft which was loaded with 11 scientific instruments built in India, UK, USA, Germany, Bulgaria, and Sweden was orbiting around the Moon at a height of 100 km from the lunar surface. It was launched with a mission to observe chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic mapping of the Moon.
The orbit was raised to 200 km during May 2009 when the major objectives of the missions were accomplished. The Chandrayaan-1 had completed more than 3400 orbits around the moon before the connection was lost with it on August 29, 2009.