The NASA scientists, using data from the Chandrayaan-I spacecraft, on August 21, 2018 confirmed that there are frozen water deposits in the darkest and coolest parts of Moon’s Polar Regions. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The Chandrayaan-I spacecraft was launched in 2008 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
• A team of scientists led by Shuai Li of the University of Hawaii and Brown University and including Richard Elphic from NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley used data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.
• M3 was uniquely equipped to confirm the presence of solid ice on the Moon.
• It collected data that not only picked up the reflective properties, but was able to directly measure the way its molecules absorb infrared light, so it can differentiate between liquid water or vapor and solid ice.
• Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first mission to the moon.
• It was launched by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on October 22, 2008 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, aboard a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket.
• It operated for almost a year between October 2008 and August 2009.
• Its major goal was to collect data about the moon’s geology, mineralogy and topography.
• The spacecraft is best known for helping scientists to discover evidence of water molecules on the moon.
• ISRO is now developing a successor mission called Chandrayaan-2, which is expected to launch in 2018-19.