Chandrayaan-3 lands on the dark side of the Moon! How NASA, other space agencies reacted

The historic Chandrayaan-3 landing on the Moon's South Pole has elicited amazing reactions from global space agencies, including NASA and ESA.

| Updated on: Aug 23 2023, 19:42 IST
Chandrayaan-3 Moon mission: 5 facts to know
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1/7 The Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 from Sri Harikota, India's main spaceport in  Andhra Pradesh. From the day of its launch, Chandrayaan-3  has looped through progressively wider-ranging orbits of Earth. It then transferred to a lunar orbit and emerged as a focus of national pride. Our Moon mission become a global interest after Russia's Moon mission Luna-25  failed to land on the moon. (PTI)
2/7 The landing of  Chandrayaan-3 is aimed at the lunar south pole. Lunar south pole is a region that may have water ice or frozen water. It can be an abundant source of oxygen, fuel, and water that can be extremely important for future moon missions. (AFP)
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3/7 Chandrayaan-3 will be functional for two weeks if it lands successfully on the lunar surface. It will run various experiments which will include a spectrometer analysis of the mineral composition of the surface of the moon. (via REUTERS)
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4/7 The lander of the Chandrayaan-3 mission is about 2m tall. Its mass is said to be about  1,700 kg (3,747.86 lb) which can deploy a small 26 Kg lunar rover. (HT_PRINT)
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5/7 For the smooth landing of the  Chandrayaan-3 on the south pole of the Moon, rough terrain can be a great hurdle. However, adjustments have been made by ISRO scientists that will help Chandrayaan-3 to stick its landing. (ISRO)
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6/7 The adjustments include a system to broaden the potential landing zone and the lander has been equipped with more fuel and sturdier legs to be more effective. (REUTERS)
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7/7 If this mission becomes successful, it would make India the fourth country to successfully land on the moon, after the former USSR, the United States, and China, and India will be able to mark its emergence as a strong space power. ISRO will telecast the planned Chandrayaan-3  landing starting from 1720 IST (1150 GMT) on August 23, 2023. (ISRO twitter)
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India's Chandrayaan-3 lunar landing garners international praise as NASA, ESA, and UK space agency applaud the historic achievement. (Ishant | HT Tech)

In a groundbreaking achievement, India has secured its place in history as the first nation to successfully land a spacecraft near the Moon's South Pole. This remarkable feat not only marks a significant milestone for the world's most populous nation, but also highlights the prowess of its ambitious, cost-effective space program.

The unmanned Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander named Vikram gracefully touched down at precisely 6:04 pm, sending mission control technicians into ecstatic cheers and embraces. This triumph, however, was not without its challenges. It came on the heels of a Russian probe's unfortunate crash in the same lunar region and followed a four-year interval since India's previous lunar landing attempt ended in disappointment at the eleventh hour.

Global Space Agencies Extend Congratulations

NASA's Administrator, Bill Nelson, took to Twitter to extend his congratulations, saying, "Congratulations @isro on your successful Chandrayaan-3 lunar South Pole landing! And congratulations to #India on being the 4th country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon. We're glad to be your partner on this mission!"

The UK Space Agency also joined in the chorus of accolades, stating, "Success! Congratulations to India for becoming the fourth nation to achieve a soft landing on the Moon! We'll be communicating with the lander from its position near the lunar South Pole shortly!"

Josef Aschbacher, Director-General of the European Space Agency (ESA), expressed his amazement on Twitter: "Incredible! Congratulations to @isro, #Chandrayaan_3, and to all the people of India!! What a way to demonstrate new technologies AND achieve India's first soft landing on another celestial body. Well done, I am thoroughly impressed. And kudos once again to @esaoperations for your precious support through this process. We, too, are learning great lessons and providing crucial expertise. A strong international partner is a powerful partner."

The Chandrayaan-3 mission has captivated the imagination of the global public ever since its launch nearly six weeks ago, drawing the attention of thousands of cheering spectators. It's worth noting that Chandrayaan-3's journey to the moon, though longer than the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s, is a testament to India's dedication and commitment to space exploration.

On its part, the ISRO leadership, who managed Chandrayaan-3 made it clear that the failure of their last moon landing attempt, in 2019, was a major driving force. “From the day we started rebuilding our spacecraft after Chandaryaan-2 experience, it has been breathe in breathe out Chandrayaan-3 for our team,” said Kalpana Kalahasti, the ISRO mission's Associate Project Director.

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First Published Date: 23 Aug, 19:41 IST