Chandrayaan-3's Latest Discovery: Sulphur Confirmed on Moon's South Polar Region

Rozana Spokesman  | Amanat Thaper

News, Nation

Revelation Was Accompanied by a Vdeo Released by ISRO


BENGALURU: In a significant advancement for lunar exploration, the Chandrayaan-3 mission has achieved another breakthrough as a secondary payload on the Pragyan rover confirmed the presence of Sulphur on the moon. This revelation comes in the wake of a recent development where an instrument on the rover detected Sulphur in the moon's south polar region using an alternative technique.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced via a tweet that the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectroscope (APXS) aboard the rover had successfully identified Sulphur, among other minor elements. This discovery holds profound implications for lunar science, compelling scientists to reevaluate their understanding of the origin of Sulphur within the region. They are now deliberating whether the Sulphur originates from endogenous lunar processes, volcanic activity, or meteorite impacts.

Notably, The revelation was accompanied by a video released by ISRO, showcasing the intricate mechanics involved. The footage reveals the precise automatic hinge mechanism rotating the 18 cm long APXS, effectively positioning the detector head approximately 5 cm above the lunar surface. This delicate maneuvering is a testament to the advanced engineering that has gone into the development of Chandrayaan-3's technology.

The APXS instrument is the result of a collaborative effort between ISRO and the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. The successful deployment mechanism for the APXS was developed by the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) in Bangalore. In a separate video released by ISRO, the Pragyan rover can be seen undergoing a controlled rotation, presumably to survey the terrain for a safe route. The event was captured by the Imager camera on the lander Vikram. The imagery prompted ISRO to playfully draw an analogy, likening the rover's movements to that of a child frolicking in a backyard while its watchful mother observes with affection.