India's own Moon Impact Probe (MIP) on board the country's maiden lunar craft had discovered water on the moon, a finding confirmed by US space agency NASA's probe that was also aboard Chandrayaan-1, India's top space scientist G Madhavan Nair said in Bangalore on Friday.
India's first lunar mission had made a "path-breaking and real discovery" by establishing the presence of water on the moon, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman Nair said.
While expressing pride in the achievement, Nair added, "But the water is not in the form of sea or lake or puddle or drops. It is embedded on the surface in minerals and rocks."
Apart from India's MIP, the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) of NASA on board Chandrayaan-1 confirmed the presence of water. The lunar mission had to be aborted Aug 30 after it lost radio contact with Earth.
According to Nair, the "quantity found is much larger than expected". On whether water can be extracted, Nair said: "Yes, we can. But one tonne of soil may yield half a litre." Nair said MIP picked up signals about the presence of water as it journeyed down to land on the moon surface.
"One of the main objectives of Chandrayaan-1 was to look for the presence of water. Our MIP confirmed it."
He said they had indications of the finding "way back in June", but waited all these days to make it public as they wanted the findings to come out in a scientific journal first.
"The volume of data collected from Chandrayaan-1 is phenomenal. It may take six months to three years to analyse it."