As India became the first country to land on the south pole of the moon on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the success belongs to all of humanity.
“India’s successful moon mission is not India’s alone,” Modi said while virtually addressing scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation from South Africa. “Our approach of one earth, one family one future is resonating across the globe. Our moon mission is based on the same human-centric approach.”
The Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft’s Vikram lander made a soft landing on the moon as planned at 6.04 pm. The spacecraft, carrying an orbiter, lander and a rover, was launched on July 14 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. It is expected to operate for two weeks and carry out a chemical analysis of the lunar surface.
India is the fourth nation after the United States, the erstwhile Soviet Union and China to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon.
On Wednesday, Indian Space Research Organisation chief S Somanath termed the achievement as an “incremental progress” and a “huge one”.
Modi said that the mission’s success is a moment to cherish forever. “We are witness to the new flight of new India,” the prime minister said. “New history has been written.”
The prime minister also called Somanath and said that he would soon visit the space organisation in Bengaluru to meet the scientists who worked to achieve the feat.
President Droupadi Murmu said that the landing of Chandrayaan-3’s moon rover is a momentous occasion and added that such an event happens once in a lifetime.
“Scientists have made history with the landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar surface,” the president said. “Made India proud.”
The Congress said that the historic landing is a collective success of every Indian and another achievement in the Indian Space Research Organisation’s six-decade-long space programme.
“We are deeply indebted to the remarkable hard work, unparalleled ingenuity and unflinching dedication of our scientists, space engineers, researchers and everyone involved in making this mission a triumph for India,” Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that since 1962, India’s space program has continued to scale new heights and inspire generations of young dreamers.
“Congratulations to team ISRO for today’s pioneering feat,” Gandhi said. “Chandrayaan3’s soft landing on the uncharted lunar south pole is the result of decades of tremendous ingenuity and hard work by our scientific community.”
Congratulations also poured in from around the world as the mission marked India’s emergence as a space power.
“Congratulations to India on being the 4th country to successfully soft-land a spacecraft on the moon,” the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator, Bill Nelson, wrote on X. “We’re glad to be your partner on this mission!”
European Space Agency’s Director General Josef Aschbacher described the success of Chandrayaan-3 as an “incredible” event. “I am thoroughly impressed,” he said.
NASA’s former science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, said he was proud of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s achievement.