JAKARTA – The big ambitions of scientists and global space agencies regarding space missions are not only about looking for opportunities for life other than on Earth. They are also competing to explore all corners of Earth’s natural satellite, namely the Moon.
The first successful exploration of the Moon did not actually begin in 1969, when Neil Armstrong set foot there. Neil Armstrong’s mission was indeed marked as a major civilizational advance in the eyes of scientists or even mankind.
But actually the first successful exploration was achieved in 1959, by Russia or which was still part of the Soviet Union at that time, through an unmanned spacecraft as the first man-made object to successfully land on the Moon.
After that, there were more and more successful landing missions on the Moon, which really only became a record of ‘competition’ between America and Russia. Only in the 2000s, China and most recently India followed as countries that successfully landed their spacecraft there.
For decades, the space agency from the country mentioned above has indeed explored several points on the Moon. During that time, a number of research and discoveries have been obtained, one of which is the success of growing plants planted in the soil from the Moon.
But it’s still not enough, until now scientists and space agencies apparently have the ambition to explore another side that is still untouched, namely the south pole of the Moon.
Potential Water Source
Since the first exploration, there has actually been speculation that the moon could have water. This seems to be further strengthened by the discovery of hydrogen compounds in the form of small granules in samples taken from the satellite.
In 2009, NASA succeeded in detecting water content in a pocket of ancient water ice which was believed to be in a crater on the south pole of the Moon.
Since then, a number of space agencies have been competing to land their probes at least at the closest location to the Moon’s south pole. However, attempt after attempt continued to fail, because the surface at that point was mostly covered in craters and the surface of the ditch was rough for landing.
Until at least recently, on August 23, India became the first country to successfully land its spacecraft at the closest point to the south pole of the Moon.
There are several things that make exploration of the discovery of lunar water or so-called ‘lunar water’ This is such a big ambition.
First, the pockets of ancient water ice on the Moon are believed to have formed since the beginning of the solar system. So by studying the characteristics of the Moon’s water, it can help scientists learn more about the history of the solar system.
Second, it was discovered that the water on the moon was formed from collisions between various types of comets, ranging from ancient comets millions of years old to new comets that have fallen to the lunar surface.
From the discoveries above, scientists want to research what materials actually belong to comets, meteors or asteroids that have been heading towards Earth, but in reality never reached the surface because they had burned up when they entered the atmosphere.
More than that, scientists also project that the water on the Moon could have the potential to be a source of drinking water for future exploration, used to cool equipment, and its compounds could even be broken down to produce hydrogen as fuel and oxygen for breathing, in order to supporting missions to Mars or ‘mining’ on the Moon itself.
It still sounds like a ‘project’ that is too far away to be realized, but currently the attention of scientists and world space agencies is focused on the successful exploration carried out by India, and subsequent discoveries from their success in reaching the south pole of the Moon.
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