The Indian Space Research Organization said Tuesday that the presence of sulfur on the lunar surface near the South Pole has been definitively confirmed by the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer onboard the Chandrayaan-3 “Pragyan” rover through the first in situ measurements.
It also said the instrument also detected aluminum, calcium, iron, chromium, titanium, manganese, silicon and oxygen, as expected.
“The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument onboard the Chandrayaan-3 rover made the first in situ measurements of the elemental composition of the lunar surface near the South Pole. These in situ measurements confirmed the presence of sulfur(s) specifically in this region, This is not possible with instruments on the orbiter,” the space agency said in a statement.
According to ISRO, LIBS is a scientific technique that analyzes the composition of materials by exposing them to intense laser pulses.
“High-energy laser pulses are focused on the surface of materials such as rocks or soil. The laser pulses generate extremely hot localized plasma. The collected plasma light is spectrally analyzed and detected by detectors such as charge-coupled devices. . Since each element is in A characteristic set of light wavelengths is emitted in the plasma state, so the elemental composition of the material is determined,” it said.
Preliminary analysis revealed the presence of aluminum (Al), sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), chromium (Cr) and titanium (Ti) on the lunar surface. Further measurements revealed the presence of manganese (Mn), silicon (Si) and oxygen (O).
“A thorough investigation on the presence of hydrogen gas is underway,” ISRO said.
The LIBS instrument was developed at the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory at Peenya Industrial Park, Bangalore, which built the first Indian satellite in 1975.
India made history on August 23 when the lander module (LM) of Chandrayaan-3, ISRO’s ambitious third lunar mission, touched down on the lunar surface, making it the fourth country to accomplish the feat and the The first country to reach the unknown Antarctic, Earth’s only nature reserve. satellite.
On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to name the soft landing site of the Chandrayaan-3 Vikram lander as “Shiv Shakti Point” and place the 2019 Chandrayaan-2 lander on the moon. The site of the emergency landing on the surface was named “Shiv Shakti Point”. “Tiranga Point”.
In addition, Modi also said that August 23, the day when the Chandrayaan-3 lander touches down on the lunar surface, will be celebrated as “National Space Day”.