Earthlings are one step closer to populating the moon after the Indian rover’s historic discovery.
On Wednesday at 18:03 Indian Standard Time, India made history by becoming the fourth nation to successfully land on the moon. The country also became the first nation to land on the moon’s unexplored south pole.
Just days into the moon exploration expedition, India’s Chandrayaan-3 rover already made a first-ever discovery that brings us one step closer to populating Earth’s satellite.
According to India’s space agency, the lunar rover detected the presence of several elements including sulfur, aluminum, iron, calcium, titanium, chromium, oxygen, silicon, and manganese.
The search for hydrogen continues.
“The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument onboard Chandrayaan-3 Rover has made the first-ever in-situ measurements on the elemental composition of the lunar surface near the south pole,” the Indian Space Research Organisation announced.
“These in-situ measurements confirm the presence of sulphur in the region unambiguously, something that was not feasible by the instruments onboard the orbiters.”
Experts have since weighed in on the major discovery and suggested it has “really important implications” not only for astronauts and researchers but for the entire human race.
“Sulphur is usually bonded to important metals like iron and nickel, and these may be important ores that could be used by future astronauts to enable them to live and work on the moon,” planetary sciences professor Sara Russell said.
“We already know that the moon contains sulphur, from our analyses of rocks returned from the moon by space missions, and from lunar meteorites. What we don’t really know is the distribution and abundance of sulphur on the moon.
“This has really important implications for understanding the way the moon evolved. For example how much sulphur was lost when the moon first formed in a giant impact, and today how do the different rock layers of the moon differ in composition?”
The presence of a variety of elements on the moon could help astronauts settle on the rocky formation and eventually lead to the establishment of bigger settlements.
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