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Instagram profile of Harpreet Chandi

Harpreet Chandi, nicknamed “Polar Preet”, became the first woman of colour to complete a solo and unaided trek to the South Pole. She travelled for 700 miles unaided across the Antarctic wilderness. To a track of the days, she used to blog regularly and give updates to people about how she was, what was the weather like and other details.

On the final day of her journey, after reaching the South Pole, she said in her blog, “Hello everyone, checking in from day 40. I made it to the South Pole where it is snowing. Feeling so many emotions right now. I knew nothing about the polar world three years ago and it feels so surreal to finally be here. It was tough getting here and I want to thank everybody for their support.”

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The planet Mars is shown May 12, 2016 in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope view when it was 50 million miles from Earth. VOA

The discovery, detailed in a study published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, expands upon a tentative finding in 2018, which was made using data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express satellite.

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A radar instrument known as the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) produced evidence of what astronomers believed was a large saltwater lake under the ice at Mars’s south pole, a finding that was met with excitement and some skepticism at the time. Since then, the same group of scientists examined 10 years’ worth of radar images sent from the spacecraft and found not only more evidence confirming the original salt lake, but enough for at least three more lying underneath the Martian surface.

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The payloads that will be delivered have been developed predominantly from the two recent NASA Provided Lunar Payloads (NPLP) and Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads (LSITP) solicitations. Pixabay

NASA has selected a California-based company called Masten Space Systems to deliver and operate eight payloads to the Moon’s South Pole in 2022, to help lay the foundation for human expeditions to the lunar surface beginning in 2024.

The payloads, which include nine instruments to assess the composition of the lunar surface, test precision landing technologies, and evaluate the radiation on the Moon, are being delivered under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative as part of the agency’s Artemis programme, the US space agency said on Wednesday.

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