Thursday, March 4, 2010

Water on moon a path-breaking finding, says ex-chief of ISRO

KOCHI: The confirmation of the presence of water on the moon by Chandrayaan-I probes will open vast opportunities for space research, says G. Madhavan Nair, former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

For one thing, water available on the moon could be split into oxygen and hydrogen using sunlight and the oxygen could be used by human explorers while the hydrogen could be used as fuel.

This could reduce the necessity to carry expensive payloads of oxygen and fuel by future space missions. This could drastically cut the cost of space research. At present, every kilogram of payload cost $50,000, thus making space explorations prohibitively expensive.

�It is a path-breaking finding,� Mr. Nair, who was at the helm of the Chandrayaan-I project, said in his K.P. Hormis Memorial Lecture here on Thursday. �It is one of the greatest findings from the space exploration.� (NASA had early this week announced that its radar onboard Indias lunar orbiter Chandrayaan-I had detected vast ice deposits near the moons north pole.)

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