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Chandrayaan-1 / PSLV-C11

ISRO’s maiden mission to the Moon (Chandrayaan-1) has sent images which show that Moon may be rusting along the poles.

Chandrayaan-1

  • The sign of this finding is that even though the surface of the Moon is known to have iron – rich rocks, it is not known for the presence of water and oxygen, which are the two elements needed to interact with iron to create rust.    
  • Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) say that this could be because the Earth’s own atmosphere is lending a helping hand which, in other words, means that the Earth’s atmosphere could be protecting the Moon as well.
  • Thus, the Chandrayaan-1 Moon data indicates that the Moon’s poles are home to water, this is what the scientists are trying to decipher.

About Chandrayaan-1:

  • Chandrayaan-1 is India’s first lunar probe which was launched in October, 2008.
  • ISRO lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 in August 2009.
  • The spacecraft is a very small cube which is about 1.5 meters on each side i.e about half the size of a smart car.
  • The interplanetary radar has been used to observe small asteroids several million miles from Earth.
  • Chandrayaan-1 provided evidence of lunar caves formed by an ancient lunar lava flow.
  • Among its many achievements was the discovery of widespread presence of water molecules in lunar soil.