Historic moment. This Wednesday, August 23, the Indian spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 successfully arrived near the little-explored south pole of the Moon. Although it becomes the fourth nation to reach Earth’s natural satellite, this is the first time a space program has reached that part of the rugged terrain that makes a moon landing difficult. The feat, which had not been achieved by any other nation, comes just days after Russia’s failed attempt.
Indian space program makes history. Chandrayaan-3, which means “moon craft” in Sanskrit, positioned its Vikram lander near the little-explored lunar south pole.
The successful arrival took place on August 23, nearly six weeks after the mission was launched in front of thousands of viewers. Although it took longer to reach Earth’s natural satellite, compared to the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s which arrived in a matter of days, India made sure to accomplish an unprecedented feat.
And it is that until now no other country had specifically reached the south pole of the Moon, a rugged terrain that represents difficulties for the moon landing.
People from all corners of the nation followed the operation on television, praying as the spacecraft neared the surface. The country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi watched the moon landing from South Africa, where he is attending the BRICS summit.
Chandrayaan-3 is scheduled to conduct a series of experiments for at least two weeks. Among them, a spectrometric analysis of the mineral composition of the lunar surface.
“Landing on the south pole (of the Moon) would actually allow India to explore whether there is water ice on the Moon. And this is very important for cumulative data and science on the geology of the moon,” said Carla Filotico, CEO of the consulting firm SpaceTec Partners.
This was India’s second attempt to get a spacecraft to that part of the Moon and comes less than a week after the failure of the Russian Luna-25 mission.
With Reuters and EFE
Source: France 24