NASA to use ‘torch’ to find water on Earth’s satellite



The moon contains water in the form of water ice and it is a proven fact. However, in order to maintain long-term human presence on Earth’s only satellite, we must find a way to purify the water and even use it as fuel. And to do so, we need to identify areas on the Moon with a high concentration of water ice.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is taking steps in this direction. They intend to launch a satellite that will detect the presence of water using a ‘torch’ or a ‘flashlight.’

The satellite is due to be launched on November 9 on SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket. It is a small, briefcase-sized satellite.

It is believed that the Moon’s south pole has a high concentration of water ice. It is expected that concentration will be higher in craters that are permanently in shadow or receive little sunlight.

NASA’s ‘Lunar Flashlight’ will detect water by shining a laser across the Moon’s surface. This satellite orbits the Moon at a distance of 70,000 km from the surface. The satellite will be only 15 kilometres from the lunar surface at its closest approach.

“The satellite will be put on a trajectory that will take about three months to reach its science orbit. Then Lunar Flashlight will try to find water ice on the surface of the Moon in places that nobody else has been able to look at,” John Baker, the mission’s project manager, said in a statement.

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Dr. Kirti Sisodhia

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CATEGORIES Business Agriculture Technology Environment Health Education

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