India’s lunar rover has definitively identified the presence of sulphur on the lunar south pole, as confirmed by the nation’s space agency.
Just last week, India achieved a remarkable feat by successfully landing a spacecraft near the mostly unexplored southern pole of the Moon, marking the fourth instance of such a landing in lunar history.
In a statement released on Monday, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) revealed that the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument on board the Chandrayaan-3 Rover executed groundbreaking in-situ measurements to ascertain the elemental composition of the lunar surface in the vicinity of the south pole.
This data unequivocally confirms the existence of sulphur in the region, a feat unattainable by the instruments situated on the orbiters.
The spectrographic analysis further established the presence of aluminium, calcium, iron, chromium, and titanium on the lunar surface. ISRO also reported additional measurements that pointed towards the existence of manganese, silicon, and oxygen.
Named “Pragyan,” translating to “Wisdom” in Sanskrit, the six-wheeled solar-powered rover will continue to explore the relatively uncharted lunar south pole, transmitting scientific data and images throughout its estimated two-week operational span.
India’s space program has steadily been matching the accomplishments of other global space endeavors while managing to keep costs significantly lower. Despite facing certain setbacks, such as the failure of a previous lunar mission four years ago during its descent, India has maintained its course of technological advancement.
The launch of Chandrayaan-3, observed by thousands of enthusiastic spectators almost six weeks ago, generated immense public interest. The recent successful landing on the Moon’s surface occurred mere days after a Russian lander experienced a crash in the same lunar region.
In 2014, India emerged as the first Asian nation to successfully put a spacecraft into orbit around Mars. The country’s ambitious plans include sending a probe toward the sun in September, launching a three-day crewed mission into Earth’s orbit by the upcoming year, collaborating with Japan for a Moon probe in 2025, and orchestrating an orbital mission to Venus within the next couple of years.
Taking lead to AFP