Chandrayaan-3 creates history! India becomes first nation to land on lunar South Pole

India’s Chandrayaan-3, which launched on July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre Second Launch Pad in Sriharikota, is India’s second attempt to touch down on the Moon, following the last-minute failure of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. The GSLV Mark 3 launch vehicle, named ‘Bahubali’, carried the hopes and dreams of 140 crore Indians as it made a 3.84 lakh kilometer journey to the Moon, which took approximately 42 days. The propulsion module successfully separated from the lander module on August 17, and it will continue in its orbit, carrying out its own series of experiments. 

The Vikram lander, along with the Pragyan rover, started its descent towards the lunar surface, undergoing a series of manoeuvers such as deboosting, reverse thrusting, as well as various stages of landing, all carried out by the AI-powered Automatic Landing Sequence (ALS).

And now, the much-awaited moment has arrived – India’s Chandrayaan-3 has touched down on the far side of the Moon!

Chandrayaan-3 lands on the Moon

Completing its soft landing on the Moon, the Chandrayaan-3 lander sent a message to the nation. “India, I reached my destination, and you too!”, the official account of ISRO posted on X.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was attending this historic event from the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, congratulated the entire ISRO team, as India not only became the fourth nation to land on the Moon but also the first to touch down near the unexplored lunar South Pole. “India’s successful Moon mission is not just India’s alone…This success belongs to all of humanity”, he said.

The entire landing process was carried out in four stages – Rough Breaking Phase, Altitude Hold Phase, Fine Breaking Phase, and Local Navigation Phase. Astonishingly, there was no human intervention during this period as everything was handled by the Automatic Landing Sequence (ALS) using AI. The ISRO team monitored the Vikram lander’s progress from the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru.

One of the biggest driving forces behind the success of the Chandrayaan-3 was the failure of their previous mission, Chandrayaan-2, at the very last stage. Kalpana Kalahasti, the mission’s associate project director said, “From the day we started rebuilding our spacecraft after the Chandrayaan-2 experience, it has been breathe in breathe out Chandrayaan-3 for our team.

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