Scientists of the Ahmedabad-based Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), an ISRO affiliate, are designing a new method of finding water and ice on the moon. Here are excerpts from an article published in Asian Scientist.
In a report published in the journal, Advances in Space Research, a publication of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), S. V. S. Murty and K. Durga Prasad propose a wireless sensor network for in situ probing of water and ice on the surface of the moon.
The report assumes significance because India, as a part of its long-term space plan strategy, is mulling over a human lunar landing after 2020. This new project was announced during the 17th National Space Science Symposium at Tirupati, a joint endeavor of Sri Venkateshwara University and ISRO.
In the Chandrayaan-2 mission there will be a lander and rover. This mission, originally slated for lift off in 2013, could now be delayed because of the failure of the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission on which the lander for the Chandrayaan-2 was being tested. Russian space officials say that the revised launch date could now be in 2016.
The plan envisages a large number of tiny battery-operated computing devices being scattered on the moon’s surface with self-organizing capability.It says that the devices can either be deployed by an orbiter or a rover.