Scientists have been trying to quantifying water molecules on Moon. It is a fact that water is present on the lunar surface. Water was first discovered in 1971 by the Apollo 14 mission of NASA. However, scientists are yet to quantifying the content. In a significant development, ISRO has claimed to pick up signals of water-bearing molecules. This could take the agencies a step closer to quantifying water content on the surface. ISRO said that signals were picked up an instrument aboard Chandrayaan-2. ISRO had launched the Chandrayaan-2 mission in July 2019. It is the second lunar exploration mission by the agency. It comprised of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover.
ISRO said that imaging spectrometer Moon Minerology Mapper had earlier picked up signs of water-bearing content. The instrument was developed by the US space agency. It flew on Chandrayaan-1 mission. The mission was launched by ISRO in 2008. It managed to detect that hydroxyl and water are distributed in polar and equatorial regions. The instrument had some limitations. This made it difficult for scientists to map the whole water-bearing molecules. ISRO then developed Imaging Infrared Spectrometer. It addressed all Moon Minerology Mapper shortcomings. It was launched in July 2019 aboard Chandrayaan-2. ISRO said that the device mapped all major signals of water-bearing molecules and provided a better image of the content on the lunar surface.
Notably, Chandrayaan-2 was a partial failure mission. The lander could not land on the lunar surface smoothly. It became dysfunctional. The orbiter is in a good health. It is continuously sending images. According to ISRO, the data will help in improving quantitative estimates of water molecules. The space agency predicted that water molecules could be available at multiple locations. It said that molecules could be 800 parts per million. It added that water content could be available beyond Polar Regions and these regions could have high molecules. ISRO expects that more data will be available in the future and help in learning about Moon’s hydration processes.