India becomes the fourth nation to land safely on the Moon

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft has successfully landed near the Moon’s South Pole.
  • With this India is only the fourth nation to complete a soft-landing on the Moon.
  • The Vikram lander and Pragyan rover will now help the ISRO and wider scientific community explore the surface of the Moon for frozen water ice and more.

With the BRICS Summit currently on the go, two of the participants have had their eyes skyward, namely Russia and India.

For its part Russia’s Luna-25 probe has been on course for the Moon with a landing expected this week. Unfortunately before it could land, the spacecraft ceased to exist.

The other country with tech headed for the Moon is India and today the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) stuck the landing.

The organisation sent its Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft to the celestial body targeting the Southern pole of the Moon on 14th July. This area is believed to have frozen water ice which has been observed by aerial probes. However, there hasn’t been a rover on the Moon to verify this and now India is the first nation to get a vehicle close to the pole.

“‘I reached my destination and you too!’: Chandrayaan-3. Chandrayaan-3 has successfully soft-landed on the moon. Congratulations, India,” the ISRO wrote.

The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft includes the Vikram lander and Pragyan rover. The rover is loaded with instruments that will help scientists capture data that can be used to gain a better understanding of the composition of the Moon.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is attending the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg tuned in via livestream to celebrate this momentous occasion with his people.

With this landing, India joins an incredibly exclusive club with only the USA, China and Russia having previously completed a soft-landing on the Moon.

While we didn’t see the actual landing today, ISRO’s reaction to a data feed that clearly showed the crafted had landed was enough to confirm that unlike Chandrayaan-2, Chandrayaan-3 was successful.

Now the mission of exploring the Moon begins and we’re looking forward to what discoveries the ISRO shares with the spacefaring community.

Well done India this is a truly momentous occasion not just for the ISRO, but the space community at large.

The full livestream of the landing can be viewed below with the actual landing taking place at around the 44 minute mark.

[Image – ISRO]


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