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Wednesday 24 July, 2024
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India becomes the first country to successfully land on the Moon’s south pole

BY Shahzad Saeed Aug 23, 2023. 07:37 pm UPDATED: Aug 23, 2023. 07:39 pm

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On Wednesday, India made history by becoming the first nation to softly land a spacecraft on the south pole of the moon. Additionally, it was the fourth nation to demonstrate a soft moon landing.

Only a few days prior to Chandrayaan-3’s touchdown on Wednesday, a Russian probe crashed in the same area near the under-explored lunar south pole. The success of India’s moon mission, according to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, belonged to the “whole of humanity” and not just his country.

As people gathered around the world holding the national flag and singing patriotic songs in anticipation of the historic moment on Wednesday morning, headlines such as “India reaches for the moon” and “It’s D-Day for moon mission” greeted the nation.

After India’s failed attempt in 2019, the most recent attempt to land a spacecraft was made. Moments before the previous lunar module was supposed to land, scientists at the time lost contact with it. India used rockets for its most recent accomplishment that were significantly less powerful than those the US used for the Apollo missions back in the 1960s and 1970s. This meant that before starting on its month-long lunar trajectory, the probe had to orbit the Earth several times to pick up speed.

The most recent photos returned from the lander, according to former Indian space chief K Sivan, give every indication the mission’s final phase will be successful.

“It is encouraging that we will be able to complete the landing mission without any issues,” he said.

The Indian Space Association’s director general, Anil Kumar Bhatt, also expressed his confidence in the spacecraft’s ability to land softly to Al Jazeera.

“India has already launched two missions: Chandrayaan-1, which was a complete success; Chandrayaan-2, which was only partially successful. During that first mission, our lander crashed-landed, but our scientists, I’m confident, took the lessons learned from it to heart. And this time, they have included all fail-safe features, they have learned the proper lessons, and I am confident that we will have good news.”

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