The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released data from its Vikram Lander, which successfully landed on the Moon’s South Pole on Wednesday. The data shows that the temperature at a depth of 8 cm below the lunar surface is as low as -10 degrees Celsius, while the temperature on the surface is around 50 degrees Celsius. This significant temperature difference suggests that there may be ice present in the lunar soil.
The possibility of ice on the Moon has been theorized for many years, but this is the first time that it has been directly detected. Ice could be present in the permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s poles, where the sunlight never reaches. The ice would be preserved by the cold temperatures and the lack of atmosphere.
The discovery of ice on the Moon is a major breakthrough for space exploration. Ice could be used as a source of water for future astronauts and as a fuel for spacecraft. It could also be used to create habitats on the Moon.
China and Russia are already planning to build lunar bases, and other countries, including India and NASA, are likely to follow suit. The availability of ice on the Moon would make these bases much more feasible.
The discovery of ice on the Moon is a significant step forward in our understanding of the lunar environment. It also opens up new possibilities for space exploration. The next few years are likely to see a flurry of activity on the Moon, as countries race to stake their claim to this new resource.
In addition to the possibility of ice, the data from Vikram Lander also suggests that the lunar surface is much more heterogeneous than previously thought. The temperature variations at different depths indicate that there are different layers of soil with different properties. This could make it difficult to build a lunar base, but it could also provide new opportunities for exploration.
The data from Vikram Lander is just the beginning. ISRO plans to continue to operate the lander for the next few months, and it will continue to collect data about the lunar will help us to better understand the Moon and to plan for future mission.