India has become the fourth country to successfully land on the Moon as the Chandrayaan-3’s lander module with the Rover in its belly successfully made a soft landing on the lunar surface on August 23.

Precisely at 6.03 p.m., the lander touched the lunar surface and there were euphoric celebrations at the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bengaluru as India joined an elite list of countries like the US, Russia and China to achieve this feat. By achieving this feat India has also become the first nation to touch down on the polar region of the Moon.

We have achieved a soft landing on the moon, India is on the moon, the ISRO Chairman said. The successful landing on Wednesday has erased the painful memories of the failure of the Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander in 2019. During the descent, the Vikram lander gave up at an altitude of 2.1 km before touchdown and crashed on the lunar surface. It subsequently lost communication with the ground stations.

However, this time everything went as planned. At around 5.44 pm, the powered descent of the lander module was initiated and 19 minutes later at 6.04 pm the lander made a safe and soft landing on the Moon.

Following the successful landing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation, saying “We have reached where no one has reached in the past. This success is not India’s alone. This success belongs to all of humanity, it will help moon missions of other countries in the future.”

India’s solar mission Aditya L1 is to be launched soon, a mission to Venus is also on the cards, Modi said. In a few hours from now, the Lander will deploy the Rover which will carry out in-situ chemical analysis of the lunar surface during the course of its mobility.

The Lander and the Rover with a mission life of one Lunar day (14 Earth days) have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface. The Chandrayaan-3 mission was launched on July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Chandrayaan-3 consists of an indigenous lander module, a propulsion module and a Rover with the objective of developing and demonstrating new technologies required for Interplanetary missions.

The mission objectives of the mission are to demonstrate Safe and Soft Landing on the Lunar Surface, to demonstrate Rover roving on the moon and to conduct in-situ scientific experiments. The soft landing took place days after Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft crashed into the Moon after spinning out of control.

(The Hindu)