NASA is preparing to launch a torch to the moon. The agency aims to find water in the moon’s south polar region in a mission called Lunar Flashlight. NASA is confident that water is present in craters in the south polar region of the Moon. In the future, the agency plans to focus on this sector and include humanitarian missions.
But this needs confirmation. The agency has now decided to release the flashlight for that purpose. A flashlight is a small satellite about the size of a briefcase.
NASA has decided to launch the mission on 22nd of this month. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will be used for the launch. A laser reflectometer on this satellite will detect the presence of water. This device will shoot four laser beams here and there. Moisture can be detected by evaluating the retroreflection. Rocks on the moon and the like will reflect laser beams back.
But water does not reflect these laser beams back. In this way, it is possible to evaluate the possibility of the presence of water by evaluating the reflected light. Not only that, but also how much water is there can be calculated.
Lunar Flashlight is expected to pass over the moon’s southern craters at least 10 times within two months of launch. Even after this, if there is fuel left, it will go more often. In addition to measuring the presence of water, the satellite will also measure the presence of water ice.
Satellites usually use fuels that have little environmental impact, such as hydrazine. But NASA has also informed that the Lunar Flashlight will use green fuel which is completely environment friendly. Scientists discovered chemical evidence of water on the moon in 1990. But scientists could not confirm whether this is water. In 2008, India’s Chandrayaan mission confirmed the presence of water on the moon.