They believed there couldn't be water on the moon because of how it was formed. According to the "giant impact" theory, the moon was born 4.5 billion years ago when an object the size of Mars came hurtling out of the void and smacked the young Earth.
This impact melted both objects and scattered a cloud of debris around the Earth. That debris became the moon — and the new moon was a hot ocean of magma.
A human presence on the Moon, says space expert James Oberg, would allow engineers to iron out the technical and medical challenges of a manned Mars mission, which require at least a year of space travel.
The president will ask Congress for $800 million in seed money for 2005 and an additional five per cent of NASA's approximately $15 billion annual budget over the next five years, reports United Press International. A human mission to Mars is expected to cost $40 billion to $80 billion.
The initiative has already been described as "crazy" by some White House advisors for its massive projected cost when the country is facing $500 billion deficits. And it may come at the expense of other NASA missions that do not involve human spaceflight. - Mission to Mars
The cost of the human and robotic missions to the moon and Mars would total roughly $120 billion by 2020, according to estimates from a NASA chart. NASA's current annual budget is $15 billion. -Manned mission to moon by 2015
The probe touched down on the moon at 8:34pm (1504 GMT), 25 minutes after it was ejected from an unmanned spacecraft orbiting the moon, spokesman S. Satish said.
The probe, carrying three instruments and with the Indian flag painted on its outer panes, settled in a crater in the moon's south pole.
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