Mokokchung, 23 August (MTNews): India has made history by becoming the first nation to successfully land a craft near the moon’s south pole, and fourth country to land on moon overall. This achievement stands as a triumph for the world’s most populous country and its ambitious yet cost-effective space program.
The unmanned Chandrayaan-3, which means “mooncraft” in Sanskrit, touched down at 6:04 pm IST as mission control technicians cheered wildly and embraced their colleagues.
Chandrayaan-3’s landing comes days after a Russian probe crashed in the same region and four years since the previous Indian attempt failed at the last moment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation from the site of BRICS summit in South Africa’s Johannesburg, described India’s lunar leap as the moment which rung the bell of a developed India.
PM Modi smiled broadly and waved an Indian flag on a live broadcast to announce the mission’s success as a triumph that extended beyond his country’s borders.
“On this joyous occasion, I would like to address the people of the world,” said PM Modi. “India’s successful moon mission is not just India’s alone,” he added. “This success belongs to all of humanity.”
The Chandrayaan-3 mission has captivated public attention since launching nearly six weeks ago in front of thousands of cheering spectators.
Millions of Indians at home and abroad huddled around screens on Televisions, computers and smartphones as the world’s fifth largest economy flexed its space muscles, stamping its name among the exceptional few of the world.
Politicians staged Hindu prayer rituals to wish for the mission’s success and schoolchildren followed the final moments of the landing from live broadcasts in classrooms.
Chandrayaan-3 took much longer to reach the moon than the Apollo missions in the 1960s and 1970s, which arrived in a matter of days.
Chandrayaan-3 was launched into space from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh state’s Sriharikota on 14 July, 2023. The mission orbited Earth several times to build up the necessary speed for its journey.
India used rockets much less powerful than the ones the United States used back then, meaning the probe had to orbit the Earth several times to gain speed before embarking on its month-long journey.
The lander, Vikram, which means “valor” in Sanskrit, detached from its propulsion module last week and has been sending images of the Moon’s surface since entering lunar orbit on 5 August.
After Wednesday’s successful landing, rover Pragyan will now explore the surface of the relatively unmapped lunar south pole and transmit data to Earth over its two-week lifespan.
Nagaland CM, MP congratulates
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has congratulated the ISRO team on the successful and incredible Chandrayaan-3 landing. “History is made!” Rio said, while extending congratulations to the ISRO team. He said the nation salutes ISRO for the remarkable feat, adding, “This historic touch down on the lunar surface will propel India’s burgeoning space industry to new heights.”
MP Rajya Sabha, S Phangnon Konyak also congratulated the country on the successful mission of Chandrayaan-3. Konyak said Indian scientific prowess is never in doubt.