“India Is on the Moon”

India Is on the Moon
ⓒIndia Is on the Moon

The Chandrayaan-3 mission advances the accomplishments of India’s domestic space programme and makes it the first nation to reach the lunar south polar zone intact.

On Wednesday, a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan from India touched down in the southern polar area of the moon. With the help of two robots from the Chandrayaan-3 mission, India has become only the fourth nation to ever successfully land on the moon and the first to ever reach this region of the lunar surface in one piece.

Just after 6 o’clock local time, a boom erupted acr

Indian government representatives have been promoting a multipolar international system where New Delhi is considered as essential to global solutions. The message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has been clear: Even while the world’s most populous country tries to fulfil its people’s fundamental needs, the world would be a fairer place if India takes on a leadership role.

Mr. Modi, who is running for re-election to a third term early in the next year, has made aggressiveness on the international arena a key part of his campaign platform. He regularly combined his persona with India’s ascent to global economic, diplomatic, and technical dominance.

oss the Indian Space Research Organisation campus. “We have accomplished soft landing on the moon,” S. Somanath, the ISRO chairman, declared. The moon is home to India.

The nation’s space programme has orbited the moon and Mars and regularly launches satellites above the Earth with far less financial resources than other space-faring countries, and the Indian people already takes tremendous satisfaction in these accomplishments.

India Is on the Moon
ⓒIndia Is on the Moon

The accomplishment of Chandrayaan-3, however, may be even more gratifying because it comes at a crucial juncture in the South Asian state’s ambitions march to global power diplomacy.

Other recent events in India’s space history have seen Mr. Modi personally present at mission control, such as during a successful orbit of Mars in 2014 and a failed moon landing in 2019 where he was observed comforting the scientists and hugging the chairman of ISRO who was crying.

But he was travelling to South Africa for a BRICS summit at the same time as the Chandrayaan-3 landing. During the last minutes of the landing, Mr. Modi’s visage was split-screen with the animation of the lander and beaming into Bengaluru’s control centre.

After the landing, Mr. Modi remarked, “Chandrayaan-3’s triumph mirrors the aspirations and capabilities of 1.4 billion Indians,” calling the occasion “the moment for new, developing India.”

The enthusiasm and expectation around the landing created a rare moment of unification in a nation where science has a long history. Normally, sectarian tension has been high due to the divisive policies of Mr. Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist party.

At Sikh Gurdwaras, Muslim mosques, and Hindu temples, prayers were said for the mission’s success. Schools organised live viewings of the moon landing and special rituals, while an official YouTube video of the occasion received tens of millions of views. The police band in Mumbai, the economic and entertainment capital of India, gave the scientists a “special musical tribute” by singing a well-known national anthem.

The Hindi lyrics of the song state, “There is full faith.” “We’re going to win,”

The Indian expedition blasted out in July and travelled cautiously and slowly towards the moon. However, Chandrayaan-3 outlasted Luna-25, a Russian satellite that was launched 12 days earlier. The Indian ship and Luna-25 were both supposed to arrive on the moon on Monday in the same approximate area, but due to an engine failure, Luna-25 crashed on Saturday.

It testifies to the disparate outcomes of the two countries’ space programmes that India was able to surpass Russia, which was the Soviet Union that launched the first satellite, man, and woman into space.

The delicate balancing act between Washington and Moscow has heavily influenced India’s foreign policy in recent decades, but the nation is now more concerned with an increasingly muscular China near its borders. Since the forces of the two nations have been locked in a standoff in the Himalayas for three years, India’s calculations are heavily influenced by its susceptibility to a threat from China.

U.S. and Indian collaboration, notably in space, where China is placing itself in direct confrontation with the United States, has only grown as a result of a shared dissatisfaction with Beijing.

With Chandrayaan-3’s success, Mr. Modi will also stand to gain by leveraging India’s scientific prowess to “more confidently assert Indian national interest on the world stage,” according to Bharat Karnad, an emeritus professor of national security studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.

The Indian Space Research Organization’s engineers, scientists, and technicians erupted in laughter at the control room in Bengaluru.

Members of the ISRO leadership who oversaw Chandrayaan-3 made it apparent in their post-landing remarks that the failure of their most recent moon landing mission, in 2019, was a key motivating force behind their effort.

According to Kalpana Kalahasti, the mission’s assistant project director, “it has been breathe in, breathe out Chandrayaan-3 for our team from the day we started rebuilding our spacecraft after Chandaryaan-2 experience.”

Since early August, Chandrayaan-3 has been circling the moon. On Sunday, the lander was sent into an elliptical orbit by an engine fire and came within 15 miles of the surface. A preplanned series of manoeuvres started on Wednesday when the spacecraft neared the low part of the orbit while travelling at a speed of more than 3,700 mph.

At the commencement of the descent’s “rough braking” phase, the craft’s four engines ignited once again, boosting the craft’s fall speed. The lander started rotating from a horizontal to a vertical posture while continuing its fall after 11.5 minutes when it was slightly over 4.5 miles above the Earth.

After briefly stopping to hover around 150 yards above the ground, the spacecraft continued to descend until it came to rest softly on the ground about 370 miles from the south pole. About 19 minutes were spent on the landing process.

A research project called Chandrayaan-3 will launch within a two-week window when the sun will shine on the landing location and power the solar-powered lander and rover. Thermal, seismic, and mineralogical observations will be made by the lander and rover using a variety of equipment.

Many additional proposals are in the works between India and ISRO.

Although an Indian astronaut travelled to orbit in 1984 on a Soviet spacecraft, the nation has never sent its own astronauts into space. Gaganyaan, India’s first astronaut mission, is currently in preparation. However, there have been delays in the project, which seeks to launch three Indian astronauts into their own spacecraft, and ISRO has not yet provided a launch date.

A successful Moon landing is anticipated thanks to Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian in space.

Rakesh Sharma
ⓒRakesh Sharma

Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian in space, said on Wednesday that knowing how ISRO operates, “I can proudly say that Chandrayaan 3 will have a safe landing” as the country anxiously awaits the Chandrayaan 3 arrival on the Moon.

As part of the live Chandrayaan-3 #countdowntohistory simulcast on National Geographic Channel and Disney+ Hotstar, Sharma will join notable figures including astronaut Sunita Williams and S. Somanath, Chairman of ISRO, to offer commentary.

Sharma, who travelled on Soyuz T-11 on April 3, 1984 as part of the Soviet Interkosmos Programme to go in space, stated, “In the last 40 years, despite limited resources, ISRO has had a spectacular journey, the programmes we have conducted over the years have surprised the world.”

“Space exploration does have its ups and downs, but we’ve stayed committed to our strategy, and knowing how ISRO works, I can confidently declare that Chandrayaan 3 will land safely. I hope the Moon landing goes well,” he continued.

Chris Hadfield, a former commander of the International Space Station, Srijan Pal Singh, the CEO and co-founder of the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre, and Ann Druyan, the creative director of NASA’s Voyager Interstellar Message and an Emmy-winning writer, will also be present live to count down to the mission’s very last seconds.

“We want to unite Indians across the globe and take them on a memorable journey to #countdowntohistory together,” said Gaurav Banerjee, Head Content, Disney+ Hotstar & HSM Entertainment Network, Disney Star. “With futuristic 3D graphics, untapped access to the voices of experts from India and abroad, and short informative films.”


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