India on Wednesday created history as its moon mission Chandrayaan-3 conducted a successful landing, thus becoming the first country to have landed on the lunar south pole.
“We have achieved the soft landing on the moon. India is on the moon,” chief of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Sreedhara Panicker Somanath told Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who joined the event virtually.
“Chandrayaan-3 has successfully soft-landed on the moon! Congratulations, India,” ISRO wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
With the landing, India has joined a list of handful countries – the US, Russia and China – who have successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon.
Applause broke out in the control room in Bengaluru as India achieved the feat, while Modi was seen on screen smiling and waving an Indian flag. He said it is a “historic day for India’s space sector” and termed the moment “unprecedented.”
“I would like to address all the people of the world, the people of every country and region, India’s successful moon mission is not just India’s alone … this success belongs to all of humanity and it will help moon missions by other countries in the future,” he added.
Chandrayaan-3 took flight from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh state in July. It’s three main objectives were to achieve a safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, deploy the rover on the moon, and to conduct on-site scientific experiments.
The successful landing comes just days after the failure of Luna-25, Russia’s first moon mission in 47 years, after its engines misfired.
India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019 failed as its lander ‘Vikram’ crashed into the surface of the moon. The first Chandrayaan mission was launched in 2008. (Anadolu)