India has become the first country to successfully land a spacecraft near the south pole of the moon.
This historic feat also makes India the fourth country to make a moon landing, joining the U.S, the former Soviet Union and China.
Chandrayaan-3, which means “mooncraft” in Sanskrit, put down its Vikram lander shortly after 6pm (12:30 GMT) near the lunar south pole, the world’s first for any space programme.
People across the country were glued to television screens and said prayers as the spacecraft approached the surface.
Mission control headquarters in Bengaluru erupted in celebration as it is announced that the lander module has landed “safely and softly.” The announcement drew cheers from the watching parties around the country.
This was India’s second attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon. In 2019, ISRO’s Chandrayaan-2 mission successfully deployed an orbiter but its lander crashed.
“We have achieved soft landing on the moon. India is on the moon,” Sreedhara Panicker Somanath, the Chair of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.
Moments after the Chandrayaan-3 touched the surface of the moon, ISRO Chair, Sreedhara Panicker Somanath congratulated his team.
Somanath thanked all countries that supported the space agency during its lunar mission. He thanked Australia and the UK for support from their ground stations that helped ISRO locate Chandrayaan-3 all the time. He also thanked the U.S space agency; NASA and European Space Agency (ESA).
Former ISRO Chief, K. Sivan also congratulated the team. “We are really excited…We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I am very happy,” he said.
Additionally, NASA’s Administrator, Bill Nelson congratulated the ISRO on the spacecraft’s successful landing on the moon’s south pole, stating that NASA was glad to be ISRO’s partner on this mission.
In the same vein, the Director General of the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher, called the Chandrayaan-3 landing an “incredible” event.
“What a way to demonstrate new technologies and achieve India’s first soft landing on another celestial body. Well done. I am thoroughly impressed.”Josef Aschbacher
“The Dawn Of New India”
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi hailed his country’s success in landing on the moon’s south pole. Modi was seen waving the Indian flag as he watched the landing from South Africa, where he is attending the BRICS summit.
“This is a moment of pride for 140 crore Indians and I congratulate all the scientists who toiled hard to make this a success. When we see such historic moments it makes us very proud. This is the dawn of new India.”Narendra Modi
“India’s successful moon mission is not just India’s alone,” Modi averred, adding that mission is based on a “human-centric” approach and its success belongs to all of humanity. “Our approach of one earth, one family one future is resonating across the globe,” he said.
“No other country has been able to land on this side of moon before; this will change all narratives and stories about moon,”Modi noted.
“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.”Narendra Modi
Cyril Ramaphosa, Host of the BRICS summit offered congratulations to India. “This for us, as the BRICS family, is a momentous occasion and we rejoice with you. We join you in the joy of this great achievement,” he said.
Back in India, President of Congress Party, Mallikarjun Kharge noted that the success of Chandrayaan-3 was the “collective success of every Indian.”
“An elated nation with 140 crore (1.4 billion) aspirations witnessed today yet another achievement in its six-decade long space programme,” he added.