India’s space mission, Chandrayaan-3, successfully landed on the southern pole of the Moon, after a complex descent maneuver onto the surface of the previously unexplored southern side of the satellite.
“We have achieved a soft landing on the moon,” announced the Chief Executive of the Indian Space Research Organization, Sreedhara Panicker, after the intricate maneuver that made India the fourth country to achieve a lunar landing, a feat previously accomplished only by the United States, Russia, and China.
Chandrayaan-3 took 40 days for its journey since it took off on July 14th with India’s largest and heaviest launch vehicle.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, who is currently in South Africa to attend the BRICS leaders’ summit, paused his participation to follow the landing moment online.
“These historic moments become the eternal consciousness of the nation’s life. This moment is unforgettable, unprecedented, it’s the moment of a clarion call of a developed India, it’s a shout of victory for the new India,” said the visibly emotional Prime Minister.