Indian Chandrayaan-3 rover confirms sulfur on the south pole of the moon
According to the country’s space agency, the moon rover from India has found numerous additional elements on the lunar south pole in addition to sulphur.
India made history this week by landing a spacecraft for the first time close to the largely uncharted south pole and by becoming only the fourth country to set foot on the moon.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced in a statement on Monday that the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument onboard Chandrayaan-3 Rover had made the first-ever in-situ measurements on the elemental composition of the lunar surface close to the south pole.
“These in-situ measurements confirm the presence of sulphur in the region unambiguously, something that was not feasible by the instruments onboard the orbiters,” the statement read.
According to ISRO, subsequent tests revealed the presence of manganese, silicon, and oxygen, while the spectrographic examination also showed the presence of aluminum, calcium, iron, chromium, and titanium on the lunar surface.
The six-wheeled, solar-powered rover Pragyan, which means wisdom in Sanskrit, will rove around the south pole, which is still largely uncharted, for two weeks while sending back images and scientific data. It is looking for evidence of frozen water that could be used by future astronaut missions as a possible source of drinking water or to make rocket fuel.
According to ISRO Chairman S. Somanath, the rover will also investigate the moon’s atmosphere and seismic activities.