Published On: Wed, Aug 23rd, 2023

India’s Chandrayaan-3 lands successfully on moon, enters elite Space Club

Bengaluru: Creating history, the Chandrayaan-3 moon mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation successfully soft-landed today at 6:04 pm on Moon’s south pole.

The lunar south pole presents a vastly different and more challenging terrain

After scripting history by becoming the first country to successfully soft-land on the moon`s south pole, the Indian Space Research Organisation sent out a message of congratulations to the nation. “Chandrayaan-3 Mission: `India, I reached my destination and you too!`: Chandrayaan-3,” posted ISRO on microblogging site X.

Following the landing of the Chandrayaan-3 moon mission at 6:04 PM today, ISRO Chief S Somnath said, “India is now on the Moon!” With this India has become the fourth country- after the US, China and Russia – to have successfully landed on the moon’s surface, it has earned a place in record books as the first to touchdown on the south side of Earth’s only natural satellite.

India`s success in landing the spacecraft on the Moon`s south pole comes days after a Russian probe Luna-25 crashed in the same region. Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft put down the Vikram lander on the lunar surface, descending and tilted to a horizontal position ahead of landing.

“India is on the moon!” Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is currently attending the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg said. He watched the live telecast and as soon as the touchdown happened he sported a big smile and waved the tricolour.

ISRO had been releasing a series of up-close images of the moon, assisting the lander module in determining its position (latitude and longitude) by matching them against an onboard moon reference map. Historically, spacecraft missions to the Moon have primarily targeted the equatorial region due to its favourable terrain and operating conditions.

However, the lunar south pole presents a vastly different and more challenging terrain compared to the equatorial region. The spacecraft was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota on July 14.A GSLV Mark 3 (LVM 3) heavy-lift launch vehicle was used for the launch of the spacecraft that was placed in the lunar orbit on August 5 and since then it was through a series of orbital manoeuvres been lowered closer to the moon’s surface.

Ever since the July 14 launch, ISRO had been maintaining that the health of the spacecraft remained “normal”. On August 5, Chandrayaan-3 was successfully inserted into the lunar orbit with multiple key manoeuvres thereafter.

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