Bangalore: India's dial of excitement has been turned up a notch.
India's proud space agency, ISRO, went on record on Friday to share that not only have they found water on the moon, but they found it first. A full three months ahead of NASA, to be exact.
"The moon impact probe when it was descending down, it has picked up signatures of water on the moon as it travelled from the lunar equator to the pole," beams Dr G Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO.
Here's what happened. In November last year, within a few days of Chandrayaan reaching the orbit of the moon, a special device called a Moon Impact Probe detached itself from the mother ship. The probe, which is the size of a computer monitor, plunged towards to the lunar surface, beaming back the first chemical signatures of water on the moon. It then crashed on the lunar surface, as it was designed to do, and landed near the Shakleton crater, the spot now renamed as the Jawahar Point as this feat was completed on the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper found its first traces of water in February.
ISRO's India-First statement will remain a claim till the findings are published.
Story First Published: September 25, 2009 10:35 IST