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“From Space to Serenity: The Incredible Story of the Moon Stone that United Nations

Breaking Boundaries: India’s Journey to the Moon with Chandrayaan-3 Mission

Embarking on the cusp of history, India is set to etch its name in the cosmos as ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 mission gears up for a soft landing on the lunar surface this Wednesday evening at 6:04 PM. The eyes of not just the nation but the entire world are riveted on this remarkable mission. As common knowledge goes, it was Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin who took the pioneering step onto the moon, leaving an indelible mark. Upon their return, they brought back 22 kilograms of moon rocks and soil.

Following this, NASA, the United States’ space agency, distributed samples of rocks and soil to various space agencies globally, fostering research collaborations. India, too, secured a piece of this lunar treasure, which was entrusted to Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai. Today, we delve into the comprehensive details of this intriguing lunar specimen.

India’s Share: A 100-Gram Lunar Fragment

In 1969, the United States dispatched Apollo 11 for lunar exploration. Upon their return on July 24th, the astronauts brought back 21.7 kilograms of lunar samples, distributed among scientists worldwide by NASA. Amidst this, India also received a 100-gram fragment of the moon, kindling scientific ambitions.

Indian scientists expressed a desire to explore the high-energy sector with insights derived from this lunar piece. Currently, a portion of this specimen rests at the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. Notably, a fraction of the sample has already been returned to NASA by India.

Security is paramount for this invaluable specimen, stored within an impregnable jar. It is preserved under stringent safeguards, secluded for study. To further research endeavors, the fragment was transported to Ahmedabad’s Tata Institute.

Permission for Possession

Whenever NASA obtains lunar samples, they must be returned within a specified timeframe. Remarkably, India has been granted permission to retain this piece. Yet, stringent regulations, meticulously crafted by NASA, govern the handling of the lunar fragment. No one can directly touch the sample. Every three years, NASA renews the permission, enabling India to gather a wealth of knowledge about the moon. Today, India’s Chandrayaan is poised to descend upon the moon’s surface, equipped not only with instruments but also with a piece of the moon itself.