Universe Today reports today the November 14th, 2009 impact of the Chandrayaan-1’s Moon Impact Probe into the Shackleton crater on the Moon’s south pole. The impact indicated to scientists at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), who launched the probe, measured carbon components as found in organic matter, spurring the organization to suggest that there may be life up there. The scientists do concede that comets or meteorites could be the source of the material found lodged in the satellite’s lithosphere, as amino acids have been found on comets and asteroids, and the moon has been hit by such debris more than once.
More confounding than their presumption is the fact that India has its own space program, which is achieving the same sort of science (give or take) that the United States’ under-funded NASA is currently undertaking (if you could call smashing parts of a spacecraft into a celestial object’s surface “science,”), when as of 2005 their national poverty level was 42% (as compared to the U.S. 13% as of 2008). Granted, it’s not the space agency’s mission to help life on this planet, merely to be the first ones to discover it off-world, but do you think they feel bad about all the people starving outside their labs? With any luck they’ll be reincarnated as cows, or perhaps, if they’re lucky, a Moon Impact Probe.