After Chandrayaan-3’s ‘Dream Landing’ on Moon, Team ISRO on Cloud Nine | Exclusive

ISRO Chief S Somnath and his team watch the Chandrayaan-3 soft-landing. (PTI)

Chandrayaan-3: Team ISRO celebrated as the touchdown after a flawless 41-day voyage made India the fourth country to master soft-landing on the moon after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union, and the first to land on the south pole

As the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) made a giant leap with India’s moon mission Chandrayaan-3 touching down on the lunar south pole at 6.04 pm on Wednesday, its top scientists spoke exclusively to News18 about the challenges and plans.

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With this touchdown after a flawless 41-day voyage and less than a week after a Russian lander headed to the lunar south pole crashed, India has become the fourth country to master the technology of soft-landing on the Moon after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union and the first country to land on the uncharted surface.

But no country has ever landed a rover on the treacherous south pole that scientists believe could hold important reserves of frozen water and precious elements. Russia’s Luna-25 spacecraft that was headed to the lunar south pole weeks after the launch of the Indian mission on July 14 crashed into the Moon on Sunday after spinning out of control.


ISRO chief S Somnath said, “The technology is getting better…These missions are inspirational, so we must work on more such missions as well…We will be doing that in the coming days.”

In India’s second attempt in four years, Chandrayaan-3’s four-legged lander Vikram with the 26-kg rover Pragyan in its belly, made the soft landing near the south polar region of the Moon as per plans successfully negotiating what ISRO scientists described as the “20 minutes of terror” during the powered descent initiated at 5.44 pm.


TT BN Ramakrishna, Director, ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), narrated to News18 how every day was challenging. “Everyday was challenge for us. You saw the Chandrayaan lander and the propulsion module from Sriharikota on July 14. Our work started in May. We started looking at various tracking systems that would provide us data… The rover will take two hours to come out.”

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As scientists at the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) of the ISRO in Bengaluru broke into celebrations and flashed victory signs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is now on the Moon and the success belongs to all humanity. Addressing ISRO scientists virtually from Johannesburg where he is attending the BRICS summit, Modi said India made a resolve “on the Earth and fulfilled it on the Moon”.

“This is a moment to cherish forever. India is now on the Moon and now is the time to walk on the ‘Chandra Path’,” the prime minister said.


Somnath said the success of Chandrayaan-3 gives Indian space scientists the confidence to undertake more challenging future missions. “We have achieved soft landing on Moon. India is on the Moon,” he said, minutes after ISRO achieved the feat that was broadcast live.

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Dr Narayanan, director of Liquid propulsion systems of ISRO, said: “First and foremost, I am proud as an Indian and all Indians are proud. India is the first country to successfully land on the south pole of the moon.”

PM Modi summed it up: “We are witness to the new flight of new India. New history has been written.”

With agency inputs

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