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Moon water: NASA thanks ISRO for partnership

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Sep 25, 2009 at 12:47am IST

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Washington: India's maiden lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 has been successful in finding traces of water on the lunar surface, the US space agency NASA said on Thursday, and thanked the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for the partnership.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) official said that traces of water and hydroxyl, a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom, was also found in the lunar soil.

NASA also thanked ISRO for the partnership.

WATER ON MOON: Analysis of M3 data was carried out by a joint team of scientists from India and US.

The NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument was one of the instruments aboard the Chandrayaan-I, which was launched on October 22, 2008. However, the mission had to be aborted on August 30 after Chandrayaan-1 lost radio contact with the earth.

The analysis of the huge volume of M3 data was carried out by a joint team of scientists from the US and India.

The scientific team was led by M3 principal investigator Carle Pieters, a planetary geologist at Brown University in Rhode Island, and Principal Scientist of Chandrayaan-1 from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) of the Indian Department of Space, J N Goswami.

The team had concluded that there were traces of hydroxyl (OH) and water (H2O) molecules on the surface of the moon closer to the polar region.

The experts also concluded that traces of OH and H20 were in the form of a thin layer embedded in rocks and chemical compounds on the surface of the moon and the quantity were extremely small - of the order of about 700 parts per million (ppm).

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