India over the moon with water discovery

BANGALORE, September 25, 2009 (AFP) – India on Friday hailed the discovery of water on the moon as a triumph for its lunar programme as the country aims to cement its reputation as a serious player in the space industry. “There could be much more interesting facts. We will talk about all of it once we have concrete data analysis report,” he said of the data which “has filled the computers in ISRO as well in NASA”.

India launched Chandrayaan and fired a probe onto the moon’s surface late last year in an event that the national space agency hoped would bring it international recognition.

The probe’s landing vaulted India into the league of space-faring nations led by the United States and regional neighbours Russia, China and Japan, and was seen as a symbolic and proud moment in the country’s development.

But there was disappointment last month when Chandrayaan lost contact with its controllers and the mission was aborted only 10 months into a planned two years.

Nair said India’s Moon Impact Probe “had picked up strong signals of water particles” which were corroborated by data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scanners.

Indian newspapers headlined their front pages with