Chandrayaan-2, India's moon probe was launched on July 22, 2019, and it is now on its course towards the lunar surface for a soft landing. It is expected that Chandrayaan-2 will be landing on the dark side of the moon, an area invisible from the earth due to tidal locking. Earlier, several studies had indicated that the craters on the south pole could be trapping water, and Chandrayaan-2 aims to confirm this theory of water presence on earth's natural satellite.
But NASA scientists have now revealed that there could be a lot more than just water in these lunar craters. As per NASA experts, this region in the moon is exposed to the radiation from the sun and unexpected meteor impacts. Experts revealed that these meteor impacts and severe space radiation could deplete the amount of water present in this area.
A research conducted by William M Ferrel, an astrophysicist who works with NASA revealed that meteor impacts and solar winds could displace water from the moon, and these particles can travel as long as 30 kilometers. Due to this phenomenon, experts believe that astronauts who reach the moon in the future may find it easy to find water-rich soil in regions other than the moon's south pole.
''We suspected that there was water at the poles, and learned for sure from LCROSS, but we now have evidence that there is water at mid-latitudes. We also have evidence that there is water coming from micrometeoroid impacts, and we have a measurement of frosts. But the question is how are all these water sources related?" said Ferrel, Science Daily reports.
As India expects to become the fourth country in the world to land on the lunar surface, NASA is busy preparing for its upcoming manned mission to the moon. Last year, United States President Donald Trump had instructed the space agency to land humans on the moon by 2024.
Even though this deadline set by Trump seems implausible, experts speculate that the mission will be completed at least by 2026. Space experts believe that building a permanent manned lunar base is very much essential to achieve the ultimate aim of Mars colonization.