On Wednesday, India marked a historic moment by becoming the first country to land on the south pole region of the moon. This achievement followed Russia’s failed attempt just 72 hours earlier.
Breaking News: India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft completed a lunar landing, making the country the first to reach the moon’s southern polar region.
Follow our updates.https://t.co/GEFD8N070L
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 23, 2023
As per the BBC, India has joined a select group of nations, including the U.S., the former Soviet Union, and China, to accomplish a gentle moon landing.
India burst into celebration as the robotic lander, carrying a rover within the confines of the vessel, achieved a successful touchdown.
In a report by the BBC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the landing as a “joyous occasion.” He said, “We have reached where no other country could.”
Modi observed the event in real-time from South Africa, where he’s participating in the BRICS summit.
Wednesday’s achievement marked India’s second endeavor, as its prior lander fell short in 2019. While India celebrates their historic achievement, Russia continues its efforts to pinpoint its missteps.
As reported by Breitbart News, Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft spiraled into an uncontrolled orbit on Sunday and ultimately crashed onto the lunar terrain, thwarting its opportunity to reach the destination prior to India.
Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, declared that communication with Luna-25 was severed on Saturday, 47 minutes following a thruster malfunction during an orbital adjustment maneuver. This mishap led to an unspecified “emergency situation,” according to Roscosmos.
The agency said, “The apparatus moved into an unpredictable orbit and ceased to exist as a result of a collision with the surface of the moon.”
The Luna-25 mission, initiated from Vostochny Cosmodrome on August 10, marked Russia’s first attempt to land on the moon since 1976. The next two years will witness an additional ten lunar missions from countries including the United States, Israel, China, Japan, and India.
NASA recently revealed that the launch tower for the crewed Artemis-2 mission has been relocated to its platform at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. This marks the commencement of rigorous tests in readiness for a ten-day crewed journey to lunar orbit.
Researchers are highly intrigued by the moon’s southern pole, mainly due to its shadowed craters believed to harbor water ice. It is thought that this ice could potentially sustain future lunar settlements.