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India becomes 1st country to land spacecraft on Moon’s south pole

By JT - Aug 24,2023 - Last updated at Aug 24,2023

A view of India's Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft (Photo courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Amman)

AMMAN — India's Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft successfully soft-landed on the Moon's south pole on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, becoming only the fourth country to achieve the feat of soft landing on the moon and the first ever country to reach the lunar south pole.

The Lunar south pole is considered an area of key scientific interest for spacefaring nations, as scientists believe the region could hold vital reserves of frozen water. India’s lunar mission, which was launched on July 14, 2023 from Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), consists of a lander, a rover, and an orbiter.

The rover is expected to explore the lunar surface for up to 14 days, providing vital data to the scientific community on various properties of Lunar soil and rocks, including chemical and elemental composition, according to a statement from the Indian Embassy in Amman.

In a statement, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on the successful mission, stressing that science and technology are the foundation of a bright future for India. He noted that the historic achievement was not India’s alone, and instead represents a shared success which belongs to all of humanity. Modi noted that the achievement will help future moon missions by other countries, including those from the global south.

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