Chandrayaan-3: India unites in celebrating nation’s historic moon landing


The ambitious third lunar mission of ISRO, Chandrayaan-3 made a successful soft-landing on the moon on Wednesday, making India the fourth country after the US, China, and Russia to do so and the first to reach its uncharted south pole.

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chandrayaan-3 mission landed successfully after a 40-day journey starting from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota.

As the Vikram lander from Chandrayaan-3 successfully touched down as planned at 18:04 local time, celebrations broke out across the country, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying “India is now on the Moon”.

ALSO READ: indica’s coverage of Chandrayaan-3

PM Modi who is attending the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg watched the live telecast and as soon as the touchdown happened he sported a big smile and waved the tricolour.

“When we see such history being made before our eyes, life becomes blessed. Such historical events become the eternal consciousness of a nation’s life. This moment is unforgettable. This moment is unprecedented. This moment is the victory cry of a developed India. This moment is the triumph of the new India,” PM Modi said.

He said, “This moment is about crossing the ocean of difficulties. This moment is about walking on the path of victory. This moment holds the capability of 1.4 billion heartbeats.”

The Prime Minister said that the first light of success in the dawn of the ‘Amrit Kaal’ has showered this year.

“This moment signifies new energy, new belief, and new consciousness in India. This moment is the call of India’s ascending destiny. The first light of success in the dawn of the ‘Amrit Kaal’ has showered this year. We took a pledge on Earth, and we fulfilled it on the Moon. And our scientific colleagues also said, ‘India is now on the moon.’ Today, we have witnessed the new flight of New India in space,” Modi added.

“Through the hard work and talent of our scientists, India has reached the South Pole of the Moon which no other country in the world has ever reached,” the Prime Minister said.

He said that the proverb, Chanda Mama Door Ke, will be now changed to “Chanda Mama Bas Ek Tour Ke”.

“From today onwards, the myths associated with the moon will change, narratives will change, and even proverbs for the new generation will change. In India, we refer to the Earth as our mother and the moon as our ‘Mama’ (maternal uncle). It used to be said that “Chanda Mama is quite far away.” Now a day will come when children will say, “Chanda Mama is just a ‘tour’ away,” he added.

Meanwhile, former ISRO chief K Sivan said that the success of the country’s moon mission is sweet news, for which they have been waiting for the last four years.

“We are really excited to see this grand success. For this, we have been waiting for the last four years. This success is sweet news for us and for the entire nation,” K Sivan said.
Sivan was the chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at the time of the Chandrayaan-2 mission, launched in 2019.

The country’s second lunar mission was only “partially successful” since the lander lost contact, in the last moments when a distance of 2.1 km was left, and made a hard landing on the surface of the moon. Following this, the then ISRO chief Sivan broke into tears.

Prominent leaders across the political spectrum in western and central states, including union ministers and chief ministers, hailed the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar surface.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science and Technology, Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh said that the country has felt the moon whereas the world only ‘fantasises’ about it.

Talking to reporters in the national capital, the union minister said that the country is converting that to reality which the world dreams of.

“While the world fantasises about the moon, we have actually felt the moon…the world dreams of the moon, and we have seen the dream getting converted into reality…sky is not the limit,” Singh said.

Congratulating the ISRO team, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that it was a historical and memorable moment for India as it became the first country in the world to soft land on the South pole of the moon.

Union Minister Hardeep Puri said that today’s date will be written in golden letters in the history of India.

Apart from it, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat said that in this Amrit Kaal, the nation has witnessed a true moment of Amrit Varsha.

“In this Amrit Kaal, we have witnessed a true moment of Amrit Varsha. Now we should work toward our duty…” the RSS chief told ANI.

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.

Then on August 17, the mission marked another giant leap in its lunar quest as the ‘Vikram’ lander module of the spacecraft successfully separated from the propulsion module on Thursday.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission’s lander is named after Vikram Sarabhai (1919–1971), widely regarded as the father of the Indian space program.

Then the deboosting of the Lander module was undertaken in two phases. Deboosting is the process of slowing down to position itself in an orbit where the orbit’s closest point to the Moon is.

The stated objectives of Chandrayaan-3, India’s third lunar mission, were safe and soft landing on the lunar surface, the rover moving on the moon’s surface, and in-situ scientific experiments.

Upon landing, the lander and the rover will operate for one lunar day. One day on the Moon is equal to 14 days on Earth.

Chandrayaan-3’s development phase commenced in January 2020, with the launch planned sometime in 2021.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic brought an unforeseen delay to the mission’s progress. The approved cost of Chandrayaan-3 is ₹250 crore (excluding launch vehicle cost).

Chandrayaan-2 mission was only “partially successful” since the lander lost contact after a hard landing, but the ISRO earlier this week successfully established two-way communication between the Chandrayaan-3 lander module and the still orbiting Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) founder Vikram Sarabhai, who is considered the father of the Indian space program, once said India must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems facing society.

The establishment of the ISRO was one of Vikram Sarabhai’s greatest achievements. He successfully convinced the government of the day of the importance of a space programme for a developing country like India.

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