ISRO said today that the first-ever field measurements of the moon’s south polar region have confirmed the presence of sulfur on Earth’s only natural satellite.
The measurements were made by the laser-induced avalanche spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument aboard the Chandrayaan-3 rover, Pragyan.
The space agency said field measurements “unequivocally” confirmed the presence of sulfur in the area, which would not have been possible using instruments on board the orbiters.
The presence of oxygen, calcium and iron has also been discovered, and a search for hydrogen is underway.
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
“Initial analyzes, represented graphically, revealed the presence of aluminum (Al), sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), chromium (Cr), and titanium (Ti) on the lunar surface. Other measurements were made.” The presence of manganese (Mn), silicon (Si), and oxygen (O). “A thorough investigation is underway regarding the presence of hydrogen,” a statement from ISRO said.
LIBS has made measurements of the elemental composition of the lunar surface. She conducted the analysis by exposing the materials to intense laser pulses.
The agency had said yesterday that the vehicle had been safely diverted after it encountered a four-meter-deep crater on the lunar surface. The hole was spotted about three meters from the edge.
India made history on August 23, when it became the first country to achieve a soft landing near the moon’s south pole. It also joined the elite club of countries – Russia, the United States and China – that have successfully landed on the moon.
ISRO’s success came days after the Russian Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the lunar surface after an engine failure. Russia also aimed to land near the moon’s south pole.
The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover have a mission of one lunar day, the equivalent of 14 Earth days.
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