Sign up for our free weekly IndyTech newsletter delivered straight to your inbox
Sign up for our free IndyTech newsletter
India has become the first country to reach the Moon’s uncharted south pole, prompting Narendra Modi to claim victory in a new global space race.
“This moment is unforgettable,” said the Prime Minister as the Chandrayaan-3 The lander made a “soft landing” on the lunar surface. “It’s phenomenal. It is the victory cry of a new India.
It happened days after Russia failed in a similar attempt Moon-25 The craft crashed and was destroyed, meaning India joins an elite club of countries aiming to reach the Moon after the Soviet Union, the United States and China.
Follow The Independentlive coverage of the launch here
“India is now on the moon! Prime Minister Modi told jubilant workers at the country’s ISRO space agency. “On this joyful occasion, I would like to address all the people of the world, the people of every country and every region: the success of India’s lunar mission is not only India’s.”
Mr Modi said the mission’s research work would be carried out in a “human-centred spirit” and called for cooperation between nations to explore “the Moon and beyond”.
“This success belongs to all of humanity and it will facilitate other countries’ lunar missions in the future,” he said.
The south pole of the Moon is expected to become a key and controversial region in the coming years. Research has shown that there is water ice waiting there, which could be important in allowing humans to live on the lunar surface.
If the Chandrayaan-3 If the mission’s Pragyan rover manages to find water ice on the lunar surface, it could start rushing to use it as a resource to help extract fuel and oxygen from the moon.
Further detection and estimation of water ice on the lunar surface could raise hopes for a longer-term human presence on the Moon and facilitate future exploration missions to other planets in the solar system. .
Chandrayaan-3 has so far completed a long journey to the Moon, taking off on July 14 aboard the LVM3 rocket from India’s main spaceport, Sriharikota, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
The mission is expected to conduct scientific experiments on the lunar surface, which will cost around £63 million ($82 million).
Instruments on board the lander include a probe to measure the thermal properties of the moon’s surface, called Chandra’s Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE), and a probe dubbed ILSA to measure lunar seismic activity.
Apart from carrying out telemetry studies and analyzing the Moon’s gas and plasma environment, the mission is also expected to bring more investment to India’s growing number of startups and space institutes.
RussiaThe head of Russia’s space agency, Yury Borissov, said in an interview earlier this week that lunar missions “are not only a matter of the country’s prestige” but also of “practical value”, adding that “the race to the development of the country’s natural resources” the moon began.
“In the future, the Moon will become a platform for deep space exploration, an ideal platform,” he said.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson also said earlier this year that the United States was in a new space race, hinting at the country’s technological competition with China.
“It’s a fact, we’re in a space race,” Nelson said. Policy.
Nuclear-armed India became the world’s fifth-largest economy last year, and the success of the lunar mission will likely boost Mr Modi’s popularity ahead of next year’s crucial general election.
Across India, excited and anxious onlookers crowded around TVs in offices, shops, restaurants and homes. Thousands of people prayed for the success of the mission on Tuesday, with oil lamps placed on river banks, in temples and other religious places, including in the northern holy city of Varanasi. ‘India.
New Delhi resident Shrini Singh said she had goosebumps. “It’s a very happy moment – you can see the energy. It is beyond words.
Mitakshi Sinha, a student, said the successful mission motivated her. “And now I also want to be part of ISRO,” she said, referring to the country’s space agency.
India will host the G20 summit next month, and Modi is expected to use the event to highlight the country’s growing geopolitical influence. Although it has historical ties with Russia, the West continues to court India.