Water on the moon: Why the Indian discovery is sidelined?

Moon, water
ISRO’s team says it discovered clear evidence way back in 2008 during the Chandrayaan-1 mission. Yet many in the West are reluctant to give due credit

Whodunit? The controversy on who first found water on the moon has again heated up, as NASA announced that its “Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the moon. This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.”

“Ours was an unambiguous in-situ detection of water on the tenacious atmosphere of the moon. ISRO’s team discovered the clear evidence way back in 2008. Yet many in the West are reluctant to give due credit,” rues Dr Syed Maqbool Ahmed, a former ISRO physicist who is now with the University of Hyderabad.

Back in 2008, he was one of the young members of the team that built the Chandra’s Altitudinal Composition Explorer (CHACE), the only instrument carried by the Chandrayaan-1’s Moon Impact Probe (MIP).

Dr Mylswamy Annadurai, then the project director for Chandrayaan-1 mission, concurs, “Under intense sunlight, water evaporates during the lunar day time, and the Moon Impact Probes (MIP)’s CHACE sniffed it during its descent path way back in 2008.”

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