Chandrayan1 is India's maiden lunar mission and it has turned out to be successful as the probe has given out photographs that ensures the presence of water on the surface of the moon. The discovery of water is significant not only for reasons of science. Barstow said if the moon had a sufficient quantity of water, then it would be possible to "unlock that water" and set up a processing plant. Barstow was particularly excited over the prospects of the US now reviving its lunar exploration programme, saying there is a "huge amount of science to be done" on the moon implications for the Mars exploration programme as well.
Space scientists are looking at the moon as place for 'acclimatisation' -- a short-haul destination in space to help prepare for longer space flights and exploration programmes, such as the one for Mars, which is a two-year return flight. "The moon is within easy reach. It takes only a few days to reach and a lunar programme could help us in the process of learning to live and work in very inhospitable environments," Barstow told IANS. "The moon is a pretty hostile place, and exploring it is one way to learn how we can move about the solar system. "There is a lot of science left to be done on the moon itself. There have only been half a dozen moon landings and very little actual exploration. We need to understand more about the formation of the moon."
Barstow, whose university works closely with Indian space scientists in Bangalore and supplies instruments to the Indian Astrosat programme, said the Chandrayaan-1 finding showed that India had begun to play a vital role in the global space exploration agenda.