After overcoming the so-called “20 minutes of terror” during a complicated descent maneuver, the Vikram module (“valorous”) made landfall at the Moon’s South Pole just after 2:30 p.m. (Spanish Time), as confirmed and broadcast live by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
The “lander” Virkram, next to that Rover Pragianmake up the Chandrayaan-3 mission, the goal of which, in addition to conducting scientific experiments, is to show that it is possible to safely and smoothly land on the lunar surface and move the small rover.
India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission will attempt to operate a lander and small rover explorer at the moon’s south pole. /ISRO
This includes collecting data about the mineral composition of the satellite and the presence of ice water – a valuable asset for future space exploration – in this southern region of the moon.
“We made a soft landing on the moon,” confirmed the Managing Director of ISRO. Sreedhara Panic, according to EFE. After the complex maneuver and the success of the operation, India has become the fourth country to land on the moon, a milestone achieved only by the US, Russia and China.
However, the Asian country has become the first country to reach the South Pole of the Moon after the failed attempt by Russia’s Luna 25 mission last weekend.
Chandrayaan-3 has traveled 40 days since launching on July 14 on India’s largest and heaviest launch vehicle.
The Indian Prime Minister, the Hindu nationalist Narendra Modiwho is currently in South Africa to attend the BRICS Leaders’ Summit, took a break from attending to watch the moon landing moment online.
“These historical moments become the eternal consciousness of the life of the nation, a cry of victory for the new India,” emphasized the visibly moved Prime Minister.
Overcome the failure of the previous mission
The moon landing is a special achievement for India, whose previous mission failed in 2019 Chandrayaan-2that had the same goal and failed to touch the lunar surface just as it was decelerating.
On that occasion, the country’s memory was marked by the image of the Prime Minister attempting to comfort the then head of ISRO, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, with a hug, who burst into tears from failure.
“We made a promise on earth and kept it on the moon. Our scientific comrades have declared: ‘India is now on the moon,'” Modi added.
The Indian Space Agency had previously stated that the descent of the last 25 kilometers from space to the lunar surface was the “most critical part of the landing”.
At this step, the landing speed was about 1.68 kilometers per second with the Chandrayaan-3 in a horizontal position. So the maneuver consists of changing to the vertical position during the descent, which would depend on the accuracy of a mathematical calculation.
An error in this calculation caused Chandrayaa-2 to fail in September 2019.
The Mission Command Center, the MOXPacked with scientists, guests of honor and journalists, they began clapping and hugging with excitement as the descent progressed over two kilometers, the speed steadily decreasing and exceeding the mark of the previous attempt.
Joy in the command center of the Chandrayaan-3 mission. /ISRO
Interest in his mission to the moon has reached many areas of India. / EFE/EPO/JAGADEESH NV