India is now the first country ever to land a spacecraft near the Moon’s south pole.
There was much to celebrate at the Indian Space Research Organization yesterday when the signal came back to say that the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft’s Vikram lander had successfully touched down near the lunar south pole – a complex maneuver that has now opened up a whole new are of the Moon for exploration.
Suffice to say, the news brought about celebrations across the country.
“This is a victory cry of a new India,” said prime minister Narendra Modi. “We are witnessing history.”
The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft is carrying a small wheeled rover that, if all goes to plan, will soon disembark from the lander and trundle around the lunar surface for up to two weeks.
Its goals will be to take photographs and to look for evidence of water ice.
This particular region of the Moon is thought to be home to large amounts of ice which could, in the future, provide a potential human base with drinking water, oxygen and fuel.
It will be very interesting indeed to see what, if anything, the rover finds there.