23 November 2008

MoonLITE Mission

Britain is set to launch its maiden moon mission to study the phenomenon of mysterious moonquakes, weeks after India's spacecraft Chandrayaan-1 successfully entered the lunar orbit.
The 100-million-pound unmanned mission 'MoonLITE' would aim to understand the cause of mysterious quakes that vibrate through the lunar rock and put it into the satellite's orbit before firing a series of probes into the moon's surface.

The launch of MoonLITE (
Moon Lightweight Interior and Telecommunications Experiment), will be announced next month after which engineers would work on the technical designs with an aim to launch the satellite between 2012 and 2014.

Backed by NASA, the spacecraft would also examine the chemical composition of the rocks and even search for water on the moon's surface.

The existence of moonquakes has puzzled scientists as the moon does not have the tectonic plate activity that causes quakes on the earth.

The MoonLITE mission is expected to fire four suitcase-sized penetrator probes into different points around the lunar surface.

5 comments:

Kavin said...

a lot of things happening!!!

If there is water on the surface of the moon (or any planet other than earth), it should vaporize bcos of the heat of the sun... if it does, water vapour comes out... since the escape velocity must be less out there, those vapours must have disappeared... so no oxygen, no hydrogen and again (coming back) no water!!!

Inchara Prakash said...

ya... but there is another possibility. Water may not be in pure form. Some impurity, which can keep its boiling point even higher. That may keep the liquid on the moon without vaporizing... There are many chemical methods to get back pure water from the impurities... So v r not looking for pure water but with any possible impurity...

Vivek said...

quakes are caused mostly because of two reasons...
1)tectonic plate movement
2)movement of magma(lava)
(dont know about other heavenly bodies, but this is the case in Earth :) )
you say that there are no plates in moon...so, is lava present deep in the moon's core!? :-o

Kavin said...

ya... rite... I agree with u...

Inchara Prakash said...

u are agreeing with a fact??? Wow!!!