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LIBS on board CH-3’s rover finds chemical items, search on for Hydrogen

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Chennai: In a significant breakthrough, payloads on board the Chandryaa-3 spacecraft, the third Lunar Mission, has found presence of several chemical substances including aluminium, sulphur, calcium, iron, chromium and titanium on the south polar region of the moon and the search is on for finding Hydrogen.

This is the first major revelation captured by the cameras carried by the Rover, which was deployed on August 23 on the lunar surface, by the Lander Module on board the spacecraft.

ISRO said “The Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument onboard Chandrayaan-3 Rover has made the first-ever in-situ measurements on the elemental composition of the lunar surface near the south pole.”

“These in-situ measurements confirm the presence of Sulphur (S) in the region unambiguously, something that was not feasible by the instruments onboard the orbiters”, it said.

ISRO posted in X “Chandrayaan-3 Mission : In-situ scientific experiments continue ….Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) instrument onboard the Rover unambiguously confirms the presence of Sulphur (S) in the lunar surface near the south pole, through first-ever in-situ measurements”.

“Al, Ca, Fe, Cr, Ti, Mn, Si, and O are also detected, as expected. Search for Hydrogen (H) is underway”, it said.

LIBS is a scientific technique that analyzes the composition of materials by exposing them to intense laser pulses.

A high-energy laser pulse is focused onto the surface of a material, such as a rock or soil.

The laser pulse generates an extremely hot and localized plasma. The collected plasma light is spectrally resolved and detected by detectors such as Charge Coupled Devices. Since each element emits a characteristic set of wavelengths of light when it’s in a plasma state, the elemental composition of the material is determined. it said, in an update.

Preliminary analyses, graphically represented, have unveiled the presence of Aluminum (Al), Sulphur (S), Calcium (Ca), Iron (Fe), Chromium (Cr) and Titanium (Ti) on the lunar surface.

Further measurements have revealed the presence of manganese (Mn), silicon (Si), and oxygen (O).

Thorough investigation regarding the presence of Hydrogen is underway. LIBS payload is developed at the Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems (LEOS)/ISRO, Bengaluru.

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