Wednesday, September 23, 2009

'Major discovery' from Chandrayaan mission set to be announced

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are set to make a major announcement in the coming days related to as discovery made by one of the payloads onboard the immensely successful Chandrayaan-1 mission.

The announcement is expected at a media interaction scheduled for Thursday at NASA headquarters in Washington DC. The interaction will also feature Carle Pieters from Brown

who was the principal investigator for NASA's Moon Minerology Mapper (M3) payload onboard the Chandrayaan.

Brown University have declined to comment about the nature of the announcement, merely saying that it would ''...be a major announcement of a major discovery...'' and would be ''...something great for Chandrayaan. It will mark a major leap for India's space programme."

The Thursday interaction has not been denied by ISRO officials.

It is being surmised that the announcement may be related to the discovery of water on the lunar surface. This was one of the main missions of the prematurely aborted Chandrayaan mission.

Earlier missions to the moon have indicated the likelihood of water existing in the form of ice trapped 18 inches beneath the surface, around the Polar Regions of the moon

India is already preparing for a follow-on Chandrayaaan-2 mission with Russia, which will involve the landing of a rover on the lunar surface to pick up soil samples and relay data regarding its chemical composition back to earth via the Indian lunar orbiter.

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