ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 successfully does a soft landing on the moon

ISRO's lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the dark side of the moon on Wednesday, making India the first country to do so.

ISRO's Chandrayaan-3 successfully does a soft landing on the moon

Photo: PIB

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somnath has informed that India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 has successfully landed on the far side of the moon on Wednesday, August 23rd. The soft landing of the Vikram lander took place 40 days after the space odyssey of Chandrayaan-3 started, and India became the first country to land on what’s called the “dark side” of the moon.

According to ISRO’s post on social media platform X—formerly Twitter—at 6.04pm on Wednesday, the Vikram lander has soft-landed on the moon. Its partner vehicle Pragyan will also join Vikram in a few hours, according to ISRO.

President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, several other Union ministers, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda, Opposition Indian National Congress (INC) leaders Rahul Gandhi and Jairam Ramesh, Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, are among several top political leaders of the country who have congratulated ISRO for the unique achievement.

“Today with the successful moon landing of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, our scientists have not only made history but also remade the idea of geography. It is truly a momentous occasion”, President Murmu said.

“The success of Chandrayaan, I believe, is also a major achievement for the whole of humankind. It shows how India has harnessed its rich traditional knowledge base along with modern science in the service of humanity”, she added.

The prime minister, who is in Johannesburg, South Africa, attending the 15th BRICS Summit, joined the ISRO scientists over video conferencing to congratulate them. 

“This moment is unforgettable, unprecedented. It is the moment of the clarion call of ‘Viksit Bharat’ (developed India), a victory call for India, this is a moment of crossing the ocean of difficulties and walking on the ‘Chandrapath’ (lunar path) of victory. This is a moment of the capability of the 140 crore (1.4bn) heartbeats and the confidence of the new energy of India. This is a moment of invoking the rising fortune of India”, Modi said.

“India has reached the South Pole of the Moon where no country in the world could reach to date with the dedication and talent of our scientists”, Modi added.

The prime minister also dedicated the success to the global community, highlighting India’s presidency of the G-20 and, aligning with the BRICS’s vision, also underscored the successful landing on the moon as one that belongs to the Global South.

“India’s successful moon mission is not India’s alone. This is a year in which the world is witnessing India’s G-20 presidency. Our approach of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ is resonating across the globe. This human-centric approach that we represent has been welcomed universally. Our moon mission is also based on the same human-centric approach. Therefore, this success belongs to all of humanity. And it will help moon missions by other countries in the future”, Modi said.

“I am confident that all countries in the world, including those from the Global South are capable of achieving such feats. We can all aspire for the moon and beyond”, he added.

The ISRO scientists and technocrats have reportedly worked on improvising Chandrayaan-3 and the Vikram lander after its earlier avatar, Chandrayaan-2, failed to land on the dark side of the moon in 2019. They made several changes to Chandrayaan-3 and the new Vikram lander, learning from the lessons of 2019.

With this soft landing, India became one of the four countries to ever land on the moon.

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