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India landed on the moon with the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, becoming only the fourth country to do so.
The mission could cement India's status as a global space superpower. Previously, only the United States, China and the former Soviet Union had completed soft landings on the lunar surface.
The Chandrayaan-3 landing site is also closer to the Moon's south pole than any other spacecraft in history. The South Pole region is considered an area of critical scientific and strategic importance to the space nations as scientists believe the region hostswater icedeposits.
Water, icycieniste kraterycan be turned into rocket fuel and even drinking water for future manned missions.
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A former NASA astronaut explains why the Moon's south pole is particularly interesting
00:45 Saturday - Source:CNN
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently in South Africa at the BRICS Summit, watched the landing virtually and shared his comments on a live stream.
"On this joyful occasion ... I would like to address all the people of the world," he said. “India's successful mission to the moon is not just about India. This is the year the world is watching India's presidency of the G20. Our One Earth, One Family, One Future approach echoes around the world.
“This people-centric approach that we stand for and stand behind has been welcomed everywhere. Our lunar mission also follows the same human-centered approach,” added Modi. "Therefore, this success belongs to all mankind and will help other countries' missions to the moon in the future."
India's attempt to land a spacecraft near the moon's south pole comes days after another country failed to do the same. Russian spacecraft Luna 25fell on the moonAugust 19 after engine failure, ending the first attempt to land the Earth on the Moon in 47 years.
As Chandrayaan-3 approached the moon, its cameras took pictures, including one taken on August 20, which was shared on Tuesday by the Indian space agency. The image shows a close-up of the moon's dusty gray soil.
The Indian lunar lander consists of three parts: the lander, the rover and the propulsion unit, which gave the spacecraft all the thrust necessary to cover the 384,400 km (238,855 mi) distance between the Moon and Earth.
The lander, named Vikram, performed the precise maneuvers required for a gentle landing on the lunar surface after ejection from its propulsion unit. Inside is Pragyan, a small six-wheeled rover that will take off from the lander down the ramp.
Vikrama it used the thrusters to orient itself accurately as it approached the lunar surface, and slowly shut down the landing thrusters shortly after 6:00 p.m. IST (8:30 a.m. EST) as applause broke out in Mission Control.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO, later).confirmedestablished two-way communication with the spacecraft and shared the first images of the surface taken during the lander's final descent.
The 1,700-kilogram (3,748-lb) rover and the 26-kilogram (57.3-lb) rover are equipped with data-capturing science instruments that will help researchers analyze the lunar surface and provide new insights into its composition.
There was applause in the control room on Wednesday as India's lunar lander landed on the lunar surface.
Dr. Angela Marusiak, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, said she was especially excited that the lunar rover would be equipped with a seismometer that would attempt to detect earthquakes inside the moon.
Studying the motion of the moon's inner layers could prove crucial information for future efforts on the lunar surface, Marusiak said.
"You want to make sure that potential seismic activity doesn't endanger any astronauts," Marusiak said. "Or if we built structures on the moon, they would be protected against any seismic activity."
The lander and rover are expected to operate on the lunar surface for about two weeks. The propulsion unit will remain in orbit, serving as a relay point for transmitting data back to Earth.
Global Lunar Rush
work togetherallieslike the United States and France, India is part of the second wave of emerging space powers. The country's space program has become one of the world's busiest in the development of space technology for research.
Chandrayaan-3 is a cause of national pride and widespread interest across India. The crowd gathered atlauncherat the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh to watch the mission fly in July. On Wednesday, more than 8 million people watched a live broadcast of the landing.
Children at a school in Guwahati, India, celebrate the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the moon on Wednesday.
At least 500 people gathered at India's Scientific and Industrial Research Council in New Delhi on Wednesday, where the live broadcast was broadcast indoors and outdoors in a temporary pavilion. After a successful touchdown was confirmed, Indian sweets were distributed to the audience, firecrackers were lit and the spectators applauded for over a minute.
"Bharat Mata Ki Jai" - meaning "India's Victory" - was sung, and the children joyfully waved the Indian flag.
India's mission gained further prominence after Russia's failed lunar landing attempt on 25. With the success of Chandrayaan-3, India became the second country to land a spacecraft on the moon in the 21st century, after China, which has placed three lunar landings since 2013 lunar surface - including the first lunar landingsnext page. (The last American moon landing, the manned Apollo 17 mission, landed in 1972.)
Pictured above is an image of the lunar surface taken by the lander's horizontal velocity camera during the spacecraft's descent on Wednesday.
More than a dozen countries have plans for missions to the moon in the coming years, including a mission launched by the Japan Space Research Agency due to launch later this month. The United States also plans to sendthree commercial lunar landersto the moon this year, while NASA is continuing work on the Artemis III mission, which could send astronauts to the moon as early as 2025.
However, landing on the moon remains a challenge. India's latest attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon during the Chandrayaan-2 mission in 2019 failed. Recently, two commercial spacecraft crashed on the lunar surface - one of themIsrael2019 and the other fromJapanin April.
"There is no doubt that landing on the moon is a real challenge," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement on Sunday. "But the Moon offers a great science reward, and that's why we've seen so many attempts to re-examine the surface recently. We look forward to everything we learn in the future, including India's Chandraayan-3 mission."
On Wednesday, Nelson also delivered a message of congratulationssocial mediasaying, "Congratulations#Indieas the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon. We are glad to be your partner in this mission!”.
India is also a signatory to the US Artemis Accords, a document outlining proposed rules for future exploration of the moon. Russia and China did not sign the agreement.
Irene Nasser of CNN contributed to this story.