Extracting water from Moon possible: Indian scientist

15:20, September 26, 2009

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman Madhavan Nair on Friday claimed that it is possible to extract water from the Moon just a few hours after it was confirmed that water was present on the lunar surface.

Offering a glimmer of hope to the scientific community that water found on the Moon could be used, Nair said, "It's possible to extract water from moon."

"Chandrayaan has confirmed the presence of water molecules on the Moon. We have found signature of water on the surface of the Moon. It is embedded on the surface of the Moon. The quantity is also much larger than what was expected. There is a variation in the content of water particles on the surface of the Moon, which reflects that it varies with temperature," said Nair.

The ISRO chief also said that India's Moon mission Chandrayaan-1, which carried the probes that discovered water, was a "110 percent success".

"Earlier I said it has completed 95 percent of mission objectives. Today I say it has done 110 percent. This (discovery of water) was the main motive of the Chandrayaan mission. We as Indians can be really proud that our Chandrayaan made such a major contribution to the discovery of water on the moon," Nair added.

He also said that Chandrayaan-1's finding shattered the belief that "Moon was bone dry".

But Nair also said that the water on moon was not "in the form of sea or lake or puddle or drops. It is embedded on the surface in minerals and rocks".

Nair made the claim while addressing the media just a few hours after America space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed the presence of water on the Moon and thanked ISRO for carrying its Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) onboard Chandrayaan-1.

ISRO's Moon mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched on Oct. 22, 2008, with 11 scientific instruments onboard but the mission had to be aborted on Aug. 30 after spacecraft lost radio contact with its control station on earth.

Earlier, M3 principal investigator Carle Pieters in a paper published in Science Express, in the Sept. 24 edition said that Chandrayaan-1 found evidence of water on moon.

NASA also said that discovery of water would be crucial for future manned space flights.


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